Monday, December 17, 2007

The Hardest Part of Being an Artist (for me)

Reading things like this Washington Post article
by William Booth (which is highly entertaining and worth a read) about the Art Basel carnival:

Also In: Paul McCarthy's disturbing Chocolate Santas. Also, seemingly, sneakers. Not one pair of Nikes, but an installation of rare special-edition sneakers arranged by British "filmmakers" Nick Relph and Oliver Payne, who stuck bottles of Chateau Latour into the shoes, and from the necks of the wine bottles draped cheap plastic sports watches. It's multi-hyphenate mash. Get it? Trust us, you do. It's not that hard.

"It's a portrait of themselves," explains Kelly Taylor of Gavin Brown gallery in New York. "It's where they are, where we are at, now, literally, here." Taylor waves an arm around the convention hall, buzzing with the chic gobbling up seven-digit art like cucumber canapes at a homeless shelter. So they're making fun of us and they're selling the whole series for $200,000? Genius. What if you just wanted one sneaker? Nothing doing. "This has to go to a museum," Taylor says. "Just look at it."

Yes, genius. It has to go to a museum. I wish I would have thought of making a commentary on art fairs that was as complex and layered as theirs. Sigh. And people wonder about the suicide rates of artists.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

My only question is whether or not there were works that dealt with the true here and now: war, the inequality of wealth, the rampant devastation of the environment (here and overseas), or anything of social or personal relevance?

The folks that spend this kind of money on "art" that makes fun of spending a lot of money on cynical "art" simply deserve what they get: priceless commentary on nothing worth commenting on.

It makes a sideshow carnival of art...

So, did they ignore Wassily? Too hard to look in the mirror?

12:11 PM  
Blogger Kate said...

There were such works to be found, thankfully.

Someone asked in an interview last week whether I thought art fairs were "good for artists".

What I do know is that fairs are bad for art. They are the opposite of museums in terms of reverence for the objects and what goes into making them. That's what the painting was about...

Come to think of it, maybe art fairs ARE the proper environment for art made in factories by a league of assistants paid by art superstars. Like luxury car showrooms. But this context is insulting to artists who are pouring themselves into their work, who are eating Ramen Noodle Soup to buy canvas, and having operations because they wrecked their bodies making the things that they had to make.

1:24 PM  

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