Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Saltz's words of wisdom on the art market...

"...Is the art market making us stupid? Or are we making it stupid? Consider the lame-brained claim made by Sotheby’s worldwide head of contemporary art, Tobias Meyer, who recently effused, "The best art is the most expensive because the market is so smart." This is exactly wrong. The market isn’t "smart;" it’s like a camera -- so dumb it’ll believe anything you put in front of it. Essentially, the art market is a self-replicating organism that, when it tracks one artist’s work selling well, craves more work by the same artist. Although everyone says the market is "about quality," the market merely assigns values, fetishizes desire, charts hits and creates ambience. These days the market is also too good to be true...
The current market feeds the bullshit machine, provides cover for a lot of vacuous behavior, revs us up while wearing us down, breeds complacency and is so invasive that it forces artists to regularly consider issues of celebrity, status and money in their studios. Yet, it also allows more artists to make more money without having to work full-time soul-crushing jobs and provides most of us with what Mel Brooks called "our phony-baloney jobs..." Saltz - read whole story here.


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