Careerists need be concerned about the art market. There is a lot riding on the continually expanding moneypit that it has become. Richard Polsky lets a little hot air out of the balloon with this report. Artists need not concern themselves with this mess, but the careerists might have to. Hey it's great getting paid - especially for the hard work, but these prices have nothing to do with art and everything to do with money. The sad part of all this is that most of us have bought into this kind of careerist crap. It's why the art looks bad, its why a Peter Doig painting sells for 11 million dollars (and by the way that auctioned painting illustrated is from the Saatchi collection - I know I saw it there), and that is why nothing is sturdy and built to last - all of this work, all of this talk, all of this STUFF is about fluidity. And it will all flow downhill at the first sign of a change in the market. SO I say again - take care of yourselves - hedge your bets. As a friend of mine once said to me - money destroys braincells quicker than whiskey. That overpriced studio space, that bill for assistants, that new loft on the Bowery all will have to be paid for, and if you're not independently wealthy even a sell out show won't cover those expenses for the year - especially with your dealer taking half.
Richard Polsky also raises the specter of the death of the middle man and the proving ground. The auction houses are now getting into the business of contemporary art - selling directly. Some are buying up galleries - others have partnered with gallerist - but most are getting the idea that they can surpass the proving ground. Once art had to make its way up from the bottom - it proved its relevance and strength then became a commodity. Today it's exactly opposite with a top down model. The auctioneers want to play like art is like the movie industry, tv industry or music industry - they choose and we have to obey and pay. Bullshit. Gallerists can feel these corporate changes and so do the consultants, but we artists are beginning to feel it as well. When was any Art worth a good goddamn hoisted on artists by suits? I keep on asking the question - who chooses? Who are these experts? What do they know about anything - especially art? In the end it has to be about us. What we think, what we create and how we make our work.