Hi there. It’s been another week filled with too much vino, too many cigarettes and entirely too few hours slept. SUMMER RUULES! But really, the world keeps turning, even if you are hung over flat out on your back trying to fill in the holes of the evening before. The art world turns too, and there has been a bunch of things happening in the art-news world this past week that is notable. I have included a few below along with some general art thoughts I have been thinking about/talking about. Ahh life, it’s a crazy time to be alive. Everyone get into everything cause in the end we all are just going to die!
Paul Schimmel Getting Fired(ish) as Director of MOCA LA– I guess it matters but is it really THAT surprising? It’s LA, and that art world is a big bag of just not quite right. But on a related note, John Baldessari’s resignation from the MOCA board is pretty badass in the ‘heck yeah, I’m John Baldessari’ way. Love JB. Anyways, it is said Baldessari resigned due to Schimmel’s firing and also because of the new direction the museum is taking under the bank roll of Eli Board and the vision of Jeffrey Deitch, which includes shows that focus of disco. DISCO for goodness sakes! But yet again, is it at all surprising? LA doesn’t have enough street cred to absorb the Deitch artopia that is yes oddly missed in New York, but is still nonetheless a vacant vision of what art can and should be. Also, it is about as entertaining as a sponsored skate boarding competition, there’s something sucked dry by the enthusiasm for what was once subversive. I have faith though; it will all iron itself out there in Los Angeles. It will either become the thing it always thought it wanted to be or it will put some actual fire in that sunny sprawling city. *(update Catherine Opie, Barbara Kruger, and Ed Ruscha have also resigned!)
Why Are There No Black Art Dealers? – Someone please write this article (like those who have actual journalistic skills and institutional backing). Seriously. WHY ARE THERE NO BLACK ART DEALERS?
Galleries Closing/Galleries Opening – The surface area of the art world is still the same at the moment but there is an odd squeezing going on. Some galleries are closing, small apartments things, like West Street Gallery, to larger Chelsea ground floor spaces, like Meulensteen (aka failed Max Protech part 2). Then at turn, there is the expansion of heavy weight hitters, like Andrea Rosen Gallery and Friedrich Petzel Gallery, who are expanding in largess in both square footage and also scooping up artists who have fled or were plucked from competing galleries. The art market is a fierce competition with an eau de toilette of cultural arbitration. Yes, this is the way it is and I’m not trying to be one of those sourpuss idealists but let’s be frank, the concentration of power and gallery-brand capital and how this immensely determines who will thrive, survive or merely hang on is getting downright nauseating. The novelty for alternatives seems like a stupid waste of a thought at this juncture. Ahh, survival of the fittest. We all asked for it, no?
Bad Art Teachers - It has occurred to me that some artists who are teaching art at those coveted art teaching jobs sorta shouldn't be. Some, not all, are not terribly good or successful artists. It makes me think that maybe that is not the best way to go about it. Teaching younger artists to be artists by slightly or much older artists who don’t themselves have a successful practice as artists just seems like a waste of resources. I know tons of really awesome artists that are doing really well, on paper at least, with their careers, they are “successful” but they may not be able to make a living wage off sales of their work. These people should be teaching the new kids in town. And as a note, I am fully aware that the word “success” and “art” should stay far-far away from each other but you and I know what I’m talking about here. Like there are some artists that are glorified hobbyists or are jaded and faded and only add to the crappery that clings to the arts. Really, we should all collectively do everything in our power to not generate more bad art.
Performance Art Is A Drag - Comedy is the new performance art.