Doesn't this read like a parody?


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.


So true Barry. This is my favorite quote from the article:

"On Feb. 1, he said, Mr. Gagosian followed up his recent purchase of a Mickey Mouse drawing by Mr. Friedman at auction with an e-mail message that read: "I just hung the Mickey Mouse drawing in my house. It totally rocks!!" Soon afterward, Mr. Friedman made the leap."

I don't have any developed idea of what Mr. Gagosian could possibly be like but this quote seems like something from Saturday Night Live.

Not to sound mean-spirited, but I find it reassuring to read that someone else doesn't place much value in the New Mannerism (Currin/Yuskavage/Will Cotton -- I'd probably add Fischl and Tansey to the list as a progenitors, granted I doubt I'd get much agreement.)

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