Monday, June 18, 2007

Amusing Oversimplifications, The Burlington Royals, and more comments on The Art Market

What is the world made of? Put in any two terms, such as "haves" and "have nots", or "great artists" and "bad artists", and the metaphysical calculator will examine the world for the relative proportions, and give you a pie chart illustrating the percentages.

In the more-of -the-same department, The New York Times published this report from Art Basel, written by Carol Vogel. It begins,

" 'Is there anything left?' Anne Mosseri-Marlio asked as she surveyed the red dots beside many of the paintings in Paula Cooper’s booth.

The doors to Art Basel, the annual contemporary art fair here, opened promptly at 11 a.m. Tuesday, and 10 minutes later Ms. Mosseri-Marlio, a collector from Basel, looked distraught. Works by artists like Kelley Walker, Sherrie Levine and Rudolf Stingel had already been sold.

Steven P. Henry, director of the Paula Cooper Gallery in Chelsea, seemed just as surprised. 'People literally ran and were here by 11:01,' he said. "

I have been collecting articles like this for at least a year, and I have finally decided to stop, because they all say pretty much the same thing. It IS interesting to note, however, that several recent articles I have read featured collectors complaining that the quality "is not what it once was":

"Collectors are grumbling about the scarcity of top-quality art.

'There are some good things, but not as many as there used to be here,' said Donald L. Bryant, a Manhattan collector and trustee of the Museum of Modern Art. 'The market is so hot, and the demand is so great, it’s getting harder to find great art.' "

Artists producing recognizable product (one that can easily be identified as "a Currin" or "a Dumas" from across the room) in time for the art fairs occurring several times a year is not conducive to "great art". Neither is having your ten assistants paint your ideas in time for the next art fair. Something's gotta give.

After an intense couple of months, I tried very hard to be a human being this weekend. I had some fellow fiber artists over to eat chocolate cake, drink moscato, and work on projects (most commonly referred to as a "stitch N bitch"). Kevin and I watched a few movies (I DID embroider through one of them), and went out to dinner at a new Thai restaurant. I had mentioned to my husband years ago that I occasionally love to watch little league games, and that led him to get some free tickets from work to go to see the Burlington Royals play: they are a farm team for the Kansas City Royals, much taller than little league players, but it was a good people-watching evening. The stadium was featured in the film "Bull Durham" for the away games. We both mentioned that we felt guilty wasting time in this manner, like wasting calories eating bad chocolate, so we are not likely to go back unless we have guests in town. I think we were the only ones drinking beer there.


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