cash in now, honey, cash in now
Post #541 • May 18, 2005, 3:56 PM • 40 Comments
Via Jack, Jerry Saltz hacks Damien Hirst into bits and counters our feelings around here that Modern Painters is going soft:
The Virgin Mother [Damien Hirst's 35-foot bronze of a pregnant woman with a cutaway view of her womb] should be removed straight away and those responsible for placing it there should be fired or whatever is done with reckless, imbecilic billionaires.
Great fun, that, but more interestingly, Saltz has joined the harbingers of doom:
In the end, Hirst is just another symptom of the hype, the hubris and the money that have swamped the art scene lately. I love that weirdoes and gypsies are rewarded in the artworld, but Hirst and the many others who are currently riding the whirlwind aren't weird at all; they're official pitchmen and -women. Hirst's show merely brings us a step closer to the end of this profligate period. At his glitzy afterparty in an enormous tent on the roof of Lever House - amidst dancing models, reveling stockbrokers and the same successful artists and artworld showboaters you see at every one of these events - I thought I heard the Drums of Desstiny on the horizon. The last time an artworld party felt this noxious to me was an equally decadent dinner given for Anselm Kiefer on 1 May 1993. Hysteria and flagrancy filled the air then too. Now, it's worse.
Two days ago in the Telegraph, Colin Gleadell wrote:
There was action galore at the select evening sales of contemporary art in New York last week, but signs also that the rate of expansion in this market has slowed down. Since May 2003, combined sales at Sotheby's, Christie's and Phillips doubled from $109 million (about 60 million) to $220 million last November. But last week they rose to just $225 million. Like a giant pot-bellied pig, the market is lying on its back, enjoying its excesses, but with little room left to expand.
This would seem to throw some numbers behind what Todd Gibson was saying earlier this month. My own ancedotal evidence at the same link seems to agree.