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Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Seen on Artnet

Jerry Saltz's latest Village Voice column went up on Artnet yesterday, and it's a must read.

Rather than covering a show, this installment treats the much maligned Artforum Diary. Saltz's take on the feature: "It makes you feel shallow, irked, envious or nauseous. Sometimes . . . you feel all four at once."

Unlike most of us lazy bloggers, though, Saltz doesn't stop with the cheap shot. He actually continues on to say something smart:
The characters in the Diary are only actors in a passing infomercial. If enough young artists and dealers start turning away, this turning away will turn into something else. . . . Artists needn't give up partying; everyone should have as much pleasure as possible. Some claim the glibness of the Diary is causing "brand erosion" to Artforum. Perhaps, but despite the superficiality of the Diary, the general situation is actually improving. Artists don't have to say the destroying "no" of punk. A promising cast of newcomers is taking the stage and they seem ready to deploy the seditious "yes" that says, "I'll participate, but on my own terms."
I like that. I have a piece coming out shortly in another forum that talks about the future state of the art market, and I make a similar point there. I'm of the opinion that the pendulum will be swinging back in the near future, and seriousness and innovation will be rewarded over the novelty and superficiality that drive much of the market today.

The only enhancement I would make to Saltz's point here is that I called it "brand dilution," not "brand erosion." But that's not a big deal.

A bigger deal, though (while we're on the topic of making clarifications to Artnet's content), is Richard Polsky's most recent contribution to the site. Polsky might have mentioned that the NBA simile in his first paragraph was first used somewhere else last month.

That's it for me. Today I'm on a flight to the Midwest (lugging along a case of bronchitis I picked up in Europe) where I'll be firing on three cylinders for the rest of the week. Anything else that gets posted here this week will be gravy.

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