Thursday, October 25, 2012

Mark it

Where would we be without the art market? As regular readers will know it's worth about two posts a week (bless it) for OTN. But in the UK art writer Sarah Thornton (Seven days in the art world) is as mad as hell and won’t take any more of it. She's stomped off leaving these ten reasons for not writing about the art market behind her.
1. It gives too much exposure to artists who attain high prices.
2. It enables manipulators to publicize the artists whose prices they spike at auction.
3. It never seems to lead to regulation.
4. The most interesting stories are libelous.
5. Oligarchs and dictators are not cool.
6. Writing about the art market is painfully repetitive.
7. People send you unbelievably stupid press releases.
8. It implies that money is the most important thing about art.
9. It amplifies the influence of the art market.
10. The pay is appalling.
OK, fair enough. Now here's our ten reasons why OTN still finds the art market totally entertaining:
1. You usually get it wrong (which is good medicine for show-offs).
2. In NZ at least the art market is one of the few areas where people are happy to express strong opinions about art
3. It gives a big group of university funded artists something to not participate in
4. It is run by dealers and auction people who have opinions, know a lot, and are better dressed than your average reporter.
5. It brings to the world of one of its most mysterious processes: the pricing of art.
6. Drama and excitement.
7. It’s a world free of wall texts, computer graphics and labels.
8. It is going into a time of fundamental change with bets off as auction houses compete directly with dealers and both try to work online
9. The “what’s it worth” conversation.
10. The chance to bet on how long it will be before Sarah Thornton writes on the market again.
You can get Sarah Thornton’s list with her annotations here