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Hrag Vartanian on Jerry Saltz’s “This is the End…”

Hrag Vartanian on Jerry Saltz’s This is the End; The Rising Tide that Floated All Boats has Gone Out and All Boats are in Danger of Sinking, NYFA Current:

“[…] One problem with the art world, according to Saltz, is the plethora of over- academicized curators and critics that favors “late late late late conceptualism” and has taken the fun out of looking at art…

Another major problem facing the art world, Saltz explained, was the overheated market; dominating all discussions of art for the last decade, it tended to choke out styles that didn’t fit into the commercial gallery system. Saltz is a longtime critic of art-world economics, in particular the odd ritual known as the art fair. In a 2005 Village Voice essay titled “Feeding Frenzy,” he wrote “…art fairs are perfect storms of money, marketability and instant gratification…

This overfed, over-monied art world, Saltz explained, was a self-replicating machine: people think that “the art market is so smart that it only buys the best work…[but in reality]…the art market is so dumb that it buys anything other people are buying.” This has led to the dominance of very few styles and of four artists in particular: Damien Hirst, Jeff Koons, Takashi Murakami, and Richard Prince, of whom Saltz proceeded to offer up his frank opinions…

The new art world, he conjectured, will be something we won’t recognize, and will be dominated by names that we don’t know today. This transformation may require new styles, approaches, and people rewriting the rules of art and how it is consumed. If the old art world order was controlled by the academy of insular curators and the decadent market hunger for polished trinkets, this brave new world is probably going to be something else entirely…”


Apr 29, 18:19
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