Monday, January 20, 2014

What’s This Everybody Is Talking About?


Let’s be honest. We all love gossip.  I love it.  I admit it.  Gossip is as natural as apple things and as long as it is not a certain type of gossip, malicious with purpose to undermine or malign, then it is just whip cream filling for our conversation in betweens.  I am always asking people to ‘dish to me,’ ‘give me the juicy,’ and gossip is this, it is the yummy not good for you info that you crave.  Below is some things I have heard a buzzing in the last few days.  Most of these things are not gossip per se but there is a lot of opinions being given on most the below.  Many of these things have been turned into facts, but proof aside, they still leave room for spectral buzz because as they say, the proof is in the pudding. 

Philippe Vergne to MOCA - Well he’s there now, officially released.  What a marked difference to his predecessor Mr. Jeffrey Deitch, and with obvious contrast.  If Vergne’s style of Euro serious can’t realign the boat that is MOCA then god only knows who will.  I think he will succeed.  LA lacks that certain air of something that only someone like Vergne can veer.  Quiet, judgmental, yet with a preternatural sophistication that oozes in every slight brow raised over those glasses.  This will be interesting to see.  Safe perhaps, but interesting nonetheless. 

Jeffrey Deitch in NYC - Related to the above.  HE’S BACK BITCHES.  Bitches meaning NYC.  Ah yes, him.  New York Magazine did a nice little ditty on him recently although similar to those done before.  The Zelig reference is there per use.  He is going to open a big space out in Brooklyn and build his empire part deux.  All I have to say about him is this: HE CAAAN’T STOP AND WOOON’T STOP.  Let’s hope there is not too much molly water and orgy glitter this time around though.  (Sigh).

Whitney Biennial 2014 - Have you seen the 2014 Biennial list?  Have you seen it?!  It’s long as heck and with some inclusions that make you go: Yes! No. Hellz no. What? and Oh my god, what?!  I feel pain for anyone who is saddled with organizing this show, (but seriously have your people call my people if you want me to do it), but really seriously, it is not an easy thing to do.  It isn’t easy because the thing of it, it being a survey of American Art (all caps with meaning here), is something that seems both necessary yet quaint as an idea.  This year there is a chosen triumvirate of curators, Stuart Comer, Anthony Elms and Michelle Grebner.  They are all very good curators but this may possibly be a situation of too many cooks in the kitchen.  We will of course have to wait and see but wow, with a menu like this artist list, it seems to hint at a dinner party biennial disaster.  The few I have discussed this with have all nodded to this same prediction of doom.  I hope to be proven wrong though.  Truly. 

Gallery’s Finding A New Model - The art world is rigged.  Even the usually moderate and ever distinguishing Holland Cotter took to swath at the state of art and money and how it’s made it all so funny (tragically) in his article in The New York Times, Lost in the Gallery-Industrial Complex, this week.  As I’ve written and said (till eyes roll) things are just at a point of no return with the money-art-mix-thing and although there is no “solution” there are those fighting the good fight and/or changing, nay evolving, to stay in the game or to try to niche outside of it.  Rumor and talk is going about how successful (you know the names right away type of successful) galleries know that being a Zwirner or a Petzel is not feasible to do, so they are supporting upstarts in a silent partner sort of way and also opening satellites here and there.  Also, the gallerist/artist relationships are changing as well.  Artists have a lot of power.  They are the ones that makes this really all go around remember, and they don’t want to be married to a gallery.  They want an agreed arrangement, not a life contract.  Many younger and also established galleries are facilitating this by maybe having a body of works or a percentage guaranteed.  It’s a milk/cow thing.   How this will change things, who knows.  But times are a changing and flexibility is key to it all.  As I was saying to someone over lunch the other day, there is a difference between wanting to be involved with art and wanting to be in the art world.  I call the latter something similar to Cotter’s reference, I call it the Art-Industrial Complex.  We are in this complex thingy but still art (lower case art) is still here, thriving and hopefully can’t be completely tainted.  GOOD LUCK to anyone in the biz.  Selling of one’s soul should (hopefully) still be optional.