Media: June 2006 Archives

I was reading this article in the New York Times on artists leaving their long-time galleries for others just now. I don't think I could parody the language in it -- it's pre-parodied. Here are a few choice quotes:

Mr. Gagosian has emerged as the leading Lothario in the courtship wars. In addition to his two spaces in Chelsea and his Madison Avenue gallery, he has an outpost in Los Angeles and two in London, allowing him to offer artists exposure beyond the parameters of their primary dealers.

In wooing more established artists, he might organize a focused exhibition of historically significant works — many of which are borrowed back from collectors — and publish an accompanying catalog with a text by a prominent art historian or author.

(Through an assistant, Anita Foden, Mr. Gagosian declined to be interviewed for this article. "He's very, very busy," she said.)


Yet over time, some artists say, they feel shortchanged by galleries that put a priority on celebrity status.

"I think the biggest issue is finding a dealer who believes in your work," said the painter Inka Essenhigh, speaking by phone from her Manhattan studio.

She recounted a rocky period from 1998 to 2001, when she moved from the Stux Gallery to Deitch Projects to Mary Boone to 303 Gallery, finally settling in there. "Jeffrey told me he was looking for artists with star qualities," Ms. Essenhigh said of Jeffrey Deitch, one of her former dealers. She compared his gallery to Warhol's Factory. "Jeffrey wanted to be Andy," she said. "He wanted his Edie and Paul America. He wanted me to have a drug problem. He wanted me to create a scene where I went to parties. It was a lukewarm endorsement at best."

(Reached by telephone in Greece, Mr. Deitch said, "I'd never be so pretentious to say I modeled myself on Andy, although it's very flattering.")

I don't know if I will get into trouble for saying this, but the article mentions works by John Currin and Lisa Yuskavage going for as much as $1 million each. I find both artists' work kitsch at best, and basically dreck. I can't believe the crap people will buy once it has some kind of imprimator.


Update: Edward Winkleman gives his perspective, as a gallerist, on the New York Times article.

One would think a newspaper that gave the world Jason Blair and Judith Miller as "trusted sources" would be more careful, but it appears they don't even bother with verifying facts for theater productions. In a city where they are still the newspaper that can make or break a theatrical production, that can be deadly.

I know the difference between 13P and the New Georges, having written about both. The New York Times apparently does not. The recent show Dead City, about which I wrote on June 1st, was attributed to 13P rather than the New Georges, which really isn't fair to a small theater company trying to get its name out there. Culturebot has more on the story.

Related: 13P has a new play by Kate E. Ryan, titled Mark Smith running through June 24 at 46 Walker Street in Tribeca.

Related to my earlier post on the rich and their hunger for art/bohemia, I learn that W Magazine will have its first-ever art issue this fall. I believe the LTB Magazine will be called Culture and Travel, not Art & Culture as the NY Post says.

W magazine's first-ever art issue is slated to hit newsstands in October, and will cover major artists, auction houses and dealers.

Some may chalk this one up to a simmering rivalry between James Truman, the ex-editorial director of Conde Nast, and Patrick McCarthy, the editorial director of stablemate W.

Truman is now the CEO of LTB Media, a company that has as its flagship Art & Auction. He's also introducing his newest magazine, Art & Culture, in September, but is said to be struggling to find ads.

McCarthy denies any rivalry with Truman. "It has nothing to do with that. We've had this on the drawing board for nine months," McCarthy said of W's art number.

Still, he concedes, it is a first for W. And while he'll be covering the art world, he said he'll be going to the same high-end fashion advertisers.

Flush with cash from all of their tax cuts and asset appreciation, the rich need new ways to entertain themselves. Pretending to be more connected to bohemia and artists appears to be the new black.

James Truman, formerly of Condé Nast, is starting up a magazine for LTB Media called Culture and Travel. Here is an excerpt from a Anthony Haden-Guest column in the Financial Times.
So to Culture and Travel. Truman was editorial director of Conde Nast for 11 years. How will the new title differ?

“We’re going to select the audience, 60,000 people, from proprietary lists that we’re compiling of art lovers, people who are very involved in culture, people who travel, rich people.” Another explosive laugh.

And the critical content? “It won’t be an art magazine in the sense of having reviews. It will work off the cultural calendar somewhat. But really it’s a travel guide for creative people. And those people who want to live a creative life for a few weeks.”

This reminds me of an article I saw in Business Week about Ian Schrager declaring that "design hotels" are over, and "art hotels" are the new thing. Read the Chelsea Hotel Blog for more on that story.

This page is an archive of entries in the Media category from June 2006.

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