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Monday, October 23, 2006

Germaine Greer on the Art Mafia

Writer, academic, commentator, and feminist provocateur Germaine Greer, is no stranger to controversy. She’s just written some musings on the nature of contemporary art published by the Guardian newspaper, and while we don’t agree with all her points - it’s still a worthwhile read. In her article on the new philistinism in art, Greer wrote:

"(...) perhaps that's the way to know the 'good' artists. They will be the uncollectables. A good artist is beyond fashion, out of reach of the art mafia in their black Bentleys, intensely vulnerable but - we hope - incorruptible. Not so long ago, artists survived on the dole; now they have to work harder on selling themselves and their product than on the art process. Perhaps we should begin to think in terms of ensuring that our young artists are free to work, and have space to work, by paying for them rather than their product. Heaping fictitious value, otherwise known as glamour, on saleable art for elite collectors is the high road to philistinism, and the Frieze Art Fair is what you get."

Monday, October 02, 2006

A Whale of an Art Fraud

Damien Hirst and his ridiculous pickled shark have finally been outdone. Mexican postmodernist, Gabriel Orozco, has suspended an entire whale skeleton from the ceiling of the White Cube Gallery in London. Part of his first show at White Cube, the 45 foot roqual whale is what the artist calls "a drawing", since he’s penciled lines over the whole skeleton with black graphite. The installation is preposterous enough, but perhaps what is worse is art critic Adrian Searle’s extravagant fawning over the "lovely bones" in a review for the Guardian. Fans of Orozco’s "drawing", titled Dark Wave, might be disappointed to find that equally powerful and original art installations on the same theme have already been created by others. But so long as those artists continue to be nameless, Orozco’s work shall remain the unchallenged... whale of an art fraud.