Monday, March 31, 2014

Shitstorm City: Brian Droitcour, Stefan Simchowitz, Jerry Saltz



Hey-yo everybody.  Did you all have a nice weekend?  Did you get a chance to relax and de-compress and refresh yourself?  I hope so.  I really do because this Monday has already brought a forecast of giant shitstorms aka online rants, raves and real time feuds via wall posts and comment threads.   It is hysterical how dumb it is but shitstorms have a strange power and you just can’t stop watching them once they start.  The shitstorms that have caught my eye today is Brian Droitcour’s just posted article on his revived blog entitled, Why I Hate Post-Internet Art, and secondly all these articles on collector Stefan Simchowitz.

On the first:  Droitcour’s article is its title.  It is about why he hates post-internet art.  Brian is smart.  Brian has been a part of the ‘net’- whatever thing that is/has been happening in art for a while and he has participated in an engaged way versus a jumping on the bandwagon for the sake of social/cultural legitimization sort of way.  That being said, the post is loose and surface and this might bother a lot of people but not me.  It’s a blog.  It’s his personal, unassociated with a corporation/advertisers/budget blog.  When a blog is this sort of blog anything goes.  Droitcour is a ‘real’ writer though and he knows how to say and to frame things so that it has background, reference and all that.  In the end though it is an opinion piece and one that matters because as I mentioned, he is a part of this thing he speaks of in an authentic/real/earned way.  What did have me audibly gasp is the way he called out certain progenitors of what he deems post-internet art.  This is rarely done and especially not in a peer-to-peer target sort of way.   It was refreshing in its open handed matter of factness.  Who knows if this will actually create a storm of anything but it feels like a relief in a way that someone is going against the grain even if it is quick and personal. 


On the second:  Stefan Simchowitz is like a wanna be Damien Hirst mixed with a post-2008 Saatchi and he is all up everywhere because he just doesn’t give a fuck.  He is a collector in the little “c” sort of way.  Rich people are really bored and as a pastime some of them play with art.  It’s like having race cars or spelunking, gotta get that rush because if you don’t you just realize that you live and then you die and that’s a sucky thought to get stuck on. 

Anyways, I will NOT get into anything related to me actually in connection with Simchowitz but I think it is marvelous what is happening between him and Jerry Saltz.  I will NOT get into my actual feelings about Saltz but this dick measuring contest currently going on between Simchowitz and Saltz is just about the epitome of everything insane about the art world right now.  Saltz is pulling quotes from an interview Simchowitz had with Andrew Goldstein on Artspace, which followed Katya Kazakina’s Bloomberg article on art flippers a wee bit ago.  Saltz is like ‘this this that’ on how Simchowitz’ own words reveal the level of his visionary delusions.  This yes, is true but Saltz is being classic Saltz here where he takes a story and writes(?) his own via copy paste, remark, sealed with this crazy authority he has attained via his signing off on it.  Anyways.  It’s not a real article but yes, Simchowitz is one of the most deranged and quite frankly harmful art collectors but he is just balls out about it versus most of the collector class who pretend art buying is some Skull and Bones type of society.  Saltz is of course the only match for such a largess ego because he can take it and dish it cause he is very close to the same creature Simchowitz is. 


Regardless, regardless both of these are fantastic little measuring sticks of what is bugging, burning, and possibly roiling some people in the contemporary art landscape. 

Everyone loves a shitstorm.  Some even invent and stir them up to propel themselves or their cause further.  Either way they might be wacky and tacky but more often then not they reveal what is true.