Two Juicy Bits
Lisa Hunter, author of the very informative book The Intrepid Art Collector, is moderating a panel tomorrow at 2:00 pm on how to start a new art collection. Hosted by the School of Visual Art and the Affordable Art Fair, the panel includes, Bloomberg art reporter Lindsay Pollock, art fair impresario Tom Delavan, and yours truly. Please come out and join in! Lisa has all the details on her blog here, but here are the essentials:
For the Love of God
Admission to each program is free with AAF admission. Both programs take place at The Affordable Art Fair at the Metropolitan Pavilion and adjoining Altman Building, 125 West 18th Street (between 6th and 7th Avenues), New York City.
AAF hours are: Thursday, June 14, 12noon - 5pm; Friday and Saturday, June 15 - 16, 12noon - 8pm; Sunday, June 17, 12noon - 5pm. General admission is $15/day, $10/day for students and seniors. Children under 12 admitted free.
OK, so two people I've spoken to who've actually seen it say Damien Hirst's $100-million diamond-encrusted skull is a wonder to behold. I won't offer too much in the way of critique of a piece I haven't seen, but on a thread the other day, Cooky Blaha requested that we open up a thread to discuss the interview between Hirst and Joe La Placa on artnet.com. Here's a juicy snippet to get things started:
I've often cited Hirst as an example of an artist who took matters into his own hand and changed them. That, in my opinion, is the very best model (as opposed to just bellyaching about how things work). And while I agree in principle with Hirst about contemporary prices, I want to just note that he's now talking from the point of view of an artist with a market already (like Prada), not as a totally unknown newcomer. A totally unknown artist demanding $100 million for that same piece would take it home at the end of the show. I'd bet the farm on it. With that caveat, however, have at it....
JLP: For The Love of God has a huge sale price of $100 million. . .
DH: It’s too cheap! People really want it.
JLP: £50 million is too cheap?
DH: Definitely! If the Crown Jewels were on the market, they’d sell for a hell of a lot more than that. It’s just one of those objects.
JLP: Yes, but in relation to what other contemporary art has sold for, this is over the top, particularly for a living artist.
DH: Not really. What do you mean, living artist? That’s a bit of a fucking red herring really, isn’t it, a living artist? I mean, art lasts for thousands of years; it’s been going on for thousands of years and a human’s lifetime is less than a hundred years. There are only a few artists alive, relatively speaking. And the art market is, what, 2000 years old and beyond, of artistic activity? You need to forget about the living artist and just talk about art.
When I got into the art world, I consciously wanted to change it. I found it really annoying because it seemed like a kind of club where people would sell cheaply to investors and they’d make the money. Collectors would take the art off the artists and, because they came in early and they gave the artist a little bit of money, later, when the artwork got resold, it would be the collector who made the big money in the secondary market. And I always thought that was fucking wrong. I’m the artist, the primary market. And I want the money to be in the primary market.
I’ve always said it’s like going into Prada and buying a coat for two quid and then selling it next door a charity shop for 200 quid. It’s totally fucking wrong! Why are they doing it that way round? Art should be expensive the first time around. There shouldn’t be all these old boys making loads of money on the secondary market.
JLP: So you’re saying it’s the artists who should make the lion’s share of the money, not the dealers or collectors?
DH: Right. We should have learned from what happened to Van Gogh. Art has a kind of value now! People fall for that old fucking vintage trick, don’t they? "Oh, it’s a vintage antique, so it must be expensive." But that’s another priority. When you go in someone’s house and see a painting on the wall, a new painting should be much more exciting than an old painting. . . and that should be where the money is spent.
Labels: art market