Thursday, October 30, 2008

Assemble Your Own Aphorism

Here's an interesting intersection of three articles/blog posts I read this morning. I'm sure, with enough time on one's hands, a pithy little aphorism could be assembled by weaving the threads running through them.

First stop is Jonathan Jones' blog on the Guardian. Jonathan quotes Art Review's 2008 most powerful man in the art world, Damien Hirst, ranting about art dealers and the market:
Art is about life and the art world is about money although the buyers and sellers, the movers and shakers, the money men will tell you anything to not have you realise their real motive is cash, because if you realise - that they would sell your granny to Nigerian sex slave traders for 50 pence (10 bob) and a packet of woodbines - then you're not going to believe the other shit coming out of their mouths that's trying to get you to buy the garish shit they've got hanging on the wall in their posh shops ... Most of the time they are all selling shit to fools, and it's getting worse.
Second stop is an interview on Art World Salon with Canadian-born, London-based sociologist-turned-journalist, Sarah Thornton, whose new book, Seven Days in the Art World, is described by AWS Founder András Szántó as follows: it "documents the frenzied peak of the recent art boom ... just as that boom appears to be sputtering out. Some would call this bad timing. In fact, it’s a stroke of good luck. It puts Ms. Thornton in the enviable position of having captured an epic chapter in art-world history in its entirety." The part of the interview that forms part of this post's experiment is:

Some say “art business” is an oxymoron. How do you see it?

You have to be willfully romantic to see “art business” as an oxymoron. Important art is always made by people with more profound goals and intellectual ambitions than simply making money. I also believe that there is little straightforward correlation between long-term artistic and economic value. But, even before Warhol, art and business were inextricably entwined.

What is the single greatest popular misunderstanding about the art market?

That it is not about the art.

Final stop is this news item on The Art Newspaper:
Damien Hirst is to work with the dealer Emmanuel Perrotin and is planning an exhibition in his Paris gallery in April 2010. This is a surprise return to the dealer who hosted one of Hirst’s first solo shows in 1991—and claims to be the only dealer never to have made a profit from the artist.

“Everyone has written that Hirst wanted to bite the hand that fed him,” said Mr Perrotin, referring to the artist’s decision to bypass his dealers by going straight to auction at Sotheby’s in September. “But there’s a difference between asserting a bit of independence and turning your back on your dealers.”

Any takers?

Labels: art market, artists careers


Anonymous Anonymous said...

hmm, Now that the auction market is dead it's good to have a gallery to show in, even if it's in France?

10/30/2008 09:08:00 AM  
Blogger David said...

Old japanese poem:


I can see the moon more clearly
Since my storehouse burned down

10/30/2008 09:13:00 AM  
Blogger Donna Dodson said...

"Life is short, [the] art long, opportunity fleeting, experience misleading, judgment difficult.

10/30/2008 09:26:00 AM  
Anonymous Franklin said...

"Precious few people think what they think they think." - Robert Henri

10/30/2008 09:37:00 AM  
Blogger George said...

Bitch Brag Beg

10/30/2008 09:40:00 AM  
Blogger david kramer said...

I often ask if I am even in the same business as Damien Hirst, as we both would call ourselves artists...
He chooses a good time to do a show with a gallery at this moment as it seems that the auction houses and the international art fairs are in decline.
Why not work with a gallerist even if he was not the best businessman. His heart was probably in the right place.

10/30/2008 10:41:00 AM  
Anonymous Heart as Arena said...

the perfect picture is the one that acknowledges and recognizes its imperfection.

10/30/2008 11:04:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"bullshit begets bullshit"
-Narcissus and Echo

10/30/2008 11:14:00 AM  
Anonymous Of Course said...

Where there is a stink of shit there is a smell of being

10/30/2008 11:39:00 AM  
OpenID deborahfisher said...

The only thing artists have to work with is what surrounds them.

10/30/2008 12:49:00 PM  
Anonymous Ken Hagler said...

Pith isn't my thing, really, but how about:

If you want to be a financially secure artist, learn plumbing.


10/30/2008 02:18:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"same old same old"


10/30/2008 02:33:00 PM  
Blogger joy said...

"Let's have some new clichés."

(Samuel Goldwyn, channeled by Joy the Plumber)

10/30/2008 03:54:00 PM  
Blogger Kate said...

At least for the years listed, D. Hirst is the only artist who has made it to the #1 spot. Despite what one might feel about him personally, I find this fact heartening, given how disempowered most artists (that I know) seem to feel.

10/30/2008 04:47:00 PM  
Blogger zipthwung said...

Swimming in warm spit, no need to duck.

-Malaprop the Elder

10/30/2008 05:03:00 PM  
Anonymous Cedric C said...

I don't fuck, I suck.

In the end, artists are responsible.

Cedric Caspesyan

10/30/2008 10:27:00 PM  
Anonymous Question & Answer Center said...

They said we are in a lodge. I asked them how it was that one could ever know any different. i.e between lodges and a place that is not a lodge

10/31/2008 07:54:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't stand Damien Hirst's "artwork" one bit but I do admire the man. He's from a single parent upbringing in working class North England and he made it to the toppermost of the poppermost.
And all the middle class snobs HATE him for it as he has more fame and money than they can ever dream of.
England, thikns it's erradicated its Class system but still stuck in the victorian dark ages. But thats another debate.

11/01/2008 12:17:00 AM  
Anonymous Cedric C said...

Actually, I'm more interested in the next step. What will Damien Hirst do now that he has money? Will he still whine and keep doing the same stuff? Haven't we got the message yet?


Cedric C

11/03/2008 05:22:00 PM  

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