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My Word, Miss, What Talents You Have

Post #1671 • April 2, 2014, 11:37 AM • 3 Comments

Yours truly commenting on a 2006 blog post in which Ed Winkleman noted that among collectors at the fairs, The interest in age was up front and center.

The situation with people only being interested in young talent also comes from the surfeit of artists in existence. If there were only a dozen people who could sing in the entire world, we wouldn't care what they looked like. But many thousands of people can sing, so an industry has sprung up promoting 22-year-old singers who can dance, take a good head shot, and fill a bustier nicely. And once you get to that point, the extrinsic elements overtake the instrinsic ones, and it starts to matter less how well the singer can sing. That's where the art world is going.

People who take music seriously don't fall for this crap. And with apologies to whomever this might offend, people fall for the equivalent crap in art don't take art seriously, regardless of how much they're looking at it or spending on it.

I made the same comment on Joanne Mattera's 2010 post Marketing Mondays: Ageism:

Imagine that only a dozen people on the planet could sing. We wouldn't care what they looked like - we would cherish and revere them. But as it happens, a lot of people can sing. Thanks to digital tools some of them can be made to sound much better than they really are. Consequently, it becomes possible for audiences to demand that they also dance, be 25 or so, and fill out the tops of fashionable outfits nicely.

The same thing is happening to the art world. It's not quite as crass yet, but it is headed there. Younger Than Jesus was the beginning, or at least the first open admission that ageism had become socially acceptable in contemporary art circles, just as Skin Fruit was the first open admission that contemporary museums exist to inflate the value of private collections.

Yesterday I received an email from a flack who wanted to introduce me (for possible interview or publication on your blog) to a client of hers, an artist who just unveiled a new ten-work installation in downtown Los Angeles. Included, along with links to her site and a recent interview, were a CV and a photo of the artist.

[Image: Not typically how one introduces oneself in a professional setting. (May depend on profession.)]

Not typically how one introduces oneself in a professional setting. (May depend on profession.)

So making the above points has officially become a quadrennial tradition. I'm ready for that massive art market correction when you are.




April 2, 2014, 11:51 AM

I forgot to provide the name of the artist. It's Leggy McGradient. (Hat tip Milé.)


Fred Duignan

April 2, 2014, 12:04 PM

It's probably about prices and carnal availability, real or imagined. The money is spent for more than art. These are "hot" kids at hot clubs. The logic should dictate that artists that have been at the craft for years have a deeper intellectual discipline and will be around longer. There are no guarantees with volatile youth. These new collectors are the children of the fast-buck markets of the last thirty years. They have not learned from the past crashes.

Art is such a huge bubble. Funny that it may help spell the end of the Western Civilization that it ushered in its ascendancy.


DeWitt Cheng

April 2, 2014, 5:23 PM

It's a fairly egregious image, but not without precedent. Dope's money is good, too.



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