Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Myron Kaufman's "Horse Scents" | Feud Update: Is The Art World's One Percent Imploding?

Myron Kaufman, Big Bertha Gives Birth, 2011,
acrylic on canvas, 18" x 24"
Congratulations to Offramp Gallery artist Myron Kaufman, on the publication of his first short story, Horse Scents, in Bomb Magazine. Horse Scents, which is also illustrated by Myron, is the offbeat story of a man who falls in love with a horse. It begins with a touching introduction by Myron's son, filmmaker and screenwriter Charlie Kaufman. If you're familiar with Charlie's work, you're about to learn that in the Kaufman family, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. Hold on to your hats -- it's a wild ride.

Click here for Part I of Horse Scents

Click here for Part II of Horse Scents

Click here to learn more about Myron Kaufman

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Feud Update: Is The Art World's One Percent Imploding?

Last week I blogged about a public feud that had erupted in the upper echelons of the art world. The emperor is suddenly naked and his minions are scrambling to publically cover their asses. Mud is being slung far and wide.

Here is a recap of where things stood when I posted last week:

*Son-of-a-billionaire art collector Adam Lindemann had written in the New York Observer that he wasn't going to Art Basel Miami Beach because he didn't want to be "seen rubbing elbows with all those phonies and scenesters, people who don’t even pretend they are remotely interested in art . . ." And then he went.

*Advertising mogul/art collector and owner of the Saatchi Gallery, Charles Saatchi threw his hat in the ring with an article in the Guardian stating,""Even a show-off like me finds this new, super-rich art-buying crowd vulgar and depressingly shallow."

*New York Magazine art critic Jerry Saltz jumped in and neatly analyzed the feud with an article titled:
The Prince of the One Percent [Lindemann] Would Like You to Know That Buying Art Is Less Fun These Days.

On Wednesday evening Lindemann responded to Saltz by posting this article, Columnist Adam Lindemann Responds to the Critics of “Occupy Art Basel Miami Beach, Now!” on GalleristNY. Lindemann defends his actions by saying that his article was "meant to stimulate dialogue" and ends with another promise I'm sure he has no intention of fulfilling: "Nonetheless I apologize to any and all of you who in sympathy with him have taken offense, and so that we may be friends again I promise that I will never attend another art fair, buy another work of art or express my views in print."

Early Thursday this video of a secret meeting of Jerry Saltz & Charles Saatchi in a sauna appeared on FaceBook:

On Friday afternoon Jerry Saltz suddenly called for a truce in a FaceBook post:

"Not that it matters to anyone; but it matters to me - so I want to get this on the record. I have met Mr. Adam Lindemann. I like Adam Lindemann. I bear [sic] him no grudge.

"He and I disagree on a lot of stuff. He had his say in print; I had my say in print. We had a critical cat-fight in public (always good to watch critics go at it). But I'm okay with him; and look forward to going at it in print again, or not. Kumbyeya"

German artist Anselm Kiefer got his hands dirty in this article in the Guardian. He started out taking the high road:

"Art is difficult," says the 66-year-old firmly. "It's not entertainment. There are only a few people who can say something about art – it's very restricted. When I see a new artist I give myself a lot of time to reflect and decide whether it's art or not. Buying art is not understanding art."

But then he lobbed this grenade, using Charles Saatchi's own words against him:

"It sounds as though Kiefer, who was born in the Black Forest but has lived in France since 1991,
endorses Charles Saatchi's view that the art world is eurotrashy, vulgar and masturbatory. 'He described himself, no?' says the artist, laughing uproariously. '[These days] art becomes fashion, it becomes [financial] speculation, but Saatchi started it.'"

Mom, he started it!

Finally, this article about son-of-a-car-salesman artist Damien Hirst appeared in the LA Times: Damien Hirst prepares to unleash another blizzard for buyers. In January, Gagosian will fill all eleven of its galleries worldwide with Hirst's "spot" paintings, about 300 altogether, the vast majority of which were made by his assistants.

Hirst defends the ubiquity and inflated value of his assembly line work by saying:

"You also have to ask yourself as an artist, 'What would be more appealing … to have made the Mona Lisa painting itself or have made the merchandising possibilities — putting a postcard on everyone's walls all over the world? Both are brilliant, but in a way I would probably prefer the postcards — just to get my art out there.'"

It's the merchandising, stupid!

Stay tuned.

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