Andre Wallace

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Artrank and Banking on Art

Just come across this article in the Guardian about Artrank

It just serves to prove that the whole world of contemporary art has now gone completely insane. I guess there are too many ill-gotten gains floating around to find a suitable home so that this was going to be the inevitable outcome. Someone had to go and use a damnable algorithm developed for investment banksters stocks to analyse the contemporary art market. What is interesting is that the whole show was originally called sellyoulater.com and many thought it was an in art world joke, but no it's actually quite serious. Those "collectors" read speculators who are into flipping artists for profit are unethical. Buying emerging artists in bulk and then dumping them as soon as the price is right. The author of this chill show is worried about a business that has lost it's cultural cool, and he admits that contemporary art become a joke with no originality. Been saying that for years. But that's ok he says, because we have been ranking lots of people for years, athletes, Oscars, etc etc. Dissembling - these are not the same things as artist. He purports to be a gauge of their abilities based on their sales. What complete and utter rubbish, as if any computer programme can gauge the abilities of the artists he is offering as safe investments, only their sales. Which isn't enough. One has to feel very, very, very sorry for any poor artist who gets listed on his artrank!

Such as these:

Bring back the old fashioned patron, at least he or she liked what they bought for it's real and perceived aesthetic and artistic merit, which is the only sane way to support art and buy any artwork. Can't help thinking that this kind of outcome will inevitably result in an art world bubble that will burst just as it always has done in the past.

Then there is this confirmation of the problem, no work of art even a Monet is worth that kind of money. Then there is this on Jeff Koons which suggests that the artworld is starting to undergo some very serious revision based on values. Quote: "In fact, “A Retrospective” confirms that the art world doesn’t belong to the art world anymore."

By way of a sane contrast the winner of this years National Portrait gallery BP prize is a portrait of a homeless man by Thomas Ganter. At last some real art with an aesthetic that's about real world issues we ought to concern ourselves with, instead of solipsistic conceptual or abstract navel gazing.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

What is art and what is not art? discuss.

The downside of social media  -  Linkedin professional artist posting:

Have discovered that the discussion forums for Linkedin professional artists run by noenga.com are extremely difficult places to attempt to discuss what art is or isn't. Boasting seemingly ostensible professional artists discussions, about the central issues of contemporary art, they can quickly deceive you into an innocent participation, if the issue is interesting. Don't bother, don't even think about it, you can quickly come up against a lurking troll problem who is out to prove how superior he is. These clowns are invariably americans with tiny world frames and spite as their motivation. Don't give these dilettantes encouragement or support. They will abuse, defame, denigrate and insult you if you argue with them, they will use any defamation or insult..... These trolls  have serious issues concerning their status and conceited egos. Boasting of grade inflated qualifications, stuffed full of their own self importance they will tolerate no questioning or opposition concerning any form of artwork except beloved conceptual art. If challenged they invariably run to the excuse that "it is art because I say so" but can never answer when you ask them "Who told you that". 

A good example of the kind of anger you get on Linkedin is this row - between a Bogside artist who stays reasonable and an "american art teacher" whose spite and invective is what passes for serious debate concerning the art of the usual suspect. If you want to be involved with this kind of unpaid psychotherapy, fine, otherwise do not bother wasting your precious time.

Which brings me to Ms Abramovic at the Serpentine Gallery.

How did her performance become a branch of visual art? Here the problem is the very ripe old one, who told you that this performance was art?
Laura Cummings says: "The group dynamics are calculated to keep us from opting out of this fatuity. The show revolves quite literally around the diva, her promenade performance and our curiosity; and the operation is smartly disciplined, predicated on a steady flow of good behaviour ranging from gallery-going deference to willing submissiveness." 
It would seem that Ms Abramovic is more a sort of Annie Besant or Madame Blavatsky than any visual artist?

Then there is this show at the hayward which begs this question; if the artist has made  a direct cast from the human body and carefully re-produced it, where is the artwork? Where is the meaning and formal aesthetics? Is that not just a presentation of the empirical evidence of a body? This applies just as well to Anthony Gormley's efforts.
Also - note the connection between Degas little dancer and Yinka Shonibari's exhibit but why no head?.

Artists should rarely be consulted about art, few are qualified to discuss it either intelligently or rationally. Far better to ask a philosopher or aesthetics specialist than any artist what is or what is not an artwork......