Monday, March 23, 2009

Project Update

Well, nothing much is going on around here in the big city. Well...I guess its starting to be spring-ish (not counting today where its like 20 degrees). It's been consistently warmer lately, everyone is feeling a little bit less sluggish and a little more annoyed at winter. I've just been going about my business trying not to be too overwhelmed with all the work I have to do at school.

For one of my school projects I have to put together an art collection for a fictitious "private client." It's been really run so far running around to all the galleries and art fairs trying to come up with a coherent collection. The focus of the project is on "new media" works - that means (or so much teacher says) that things plug into the wall. We've already got some cool works lined up by artists like Tim Tate, Anna Frants, and Anselm Reyle. It's a really great look into what the life of an art consultant is really like. 

I'll let you know how things turn out as the project progresses.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Santa Fe

I'm here in Santa Fe, New Mexico right now. And I must say it is considerably colder than I thought it would be, but still an incredible town. There are 200+ galleries for a population of about 65,000 people. That's the largest per capita art gallery population of any city in the world. While not all the galleries are world class, there are quite a few very good ones with some mid-market artists. The most noticeable difference is the "look" of the galleries - they are more like homes with fireplaces, front doors and porches, and the kindness of the owners and operators. This is the only place I've ever been where EVERY SINGLE gallery person said hi, got up and shook my hand, and asked how they could help. It was such a nice change from Chelsea galleries. 

Some of my favorite galleries here were Charlotte Jackson Fine Art, Gerald Peters Gallery, Linda Durham Contemporary Art, and William Siegal Gallery. There is one road in town called Canyon Road where a majority of the smaller galleries are - it's worth visiting here for a couple of days just to check out all of these. And to take it slow. We tried to do a whole day of Canyon Road and were completely tired out by the end of it. Seriously exhausting to see that much art. 

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Armory Show

I went to the Armory Art Fair today. It was awesome! And I'm so glad I went today (I was sort of considering waiting for the crowds to die down - today was opening day - but it wasn't even crowded today). There was some amazing art - one of my faves is this 150 year old wagon wheel that was lit from behind by color-changing LED lights. It costs 80,000 Euros! Ga! That's a lot - and for a wagon wheel. Oh well, one day perhaps.

There was some a lot of great new media stuff, very few photographs, some (but not much) weird mixed media sculpture, and a lot of staples. I thought that the prices would be lower because of the economics....ahem....problems, but just about everything that I asked after was VERY expensive ($100,000 expensive). I couldn't really get a feel for how things were selling - but a girl I'm doing a project with in class was walking around with me pretending like she was an art advisor and EVERYONE was willing to give her a 20% discount. That would have been RARE last year. Definitely.

All in all today was a great day. I love that I live in New York City where these sorts of things are at my fingertips. It's really incredible. This weekend will be very busy - I've got papers upon papers to write and then I'm going to Santa Fe for a week! Yaay! 

Monday, March 2, 2009

More Chinese Drama

In the wake of all the YSL sales bliss, the winning bidder of the the two controversial Chinese bronzes has been announced: a Chinese man with connections to a Chinese non-profit called the National Treasures Fund. But there's a catch: he's not paying. 

Cai  Mingchao says he never had any intention of paying for the bronzes and just wanted to raise awareness about their true home in Chinese cultural history. He says they should be immediately returned to the Chinese - who, also, shouldn't have to pay for them. 

In one of my classes we're studying Cultural Property and Arts Repatriation initiatives so this is a really interesting side note to all this. The LA Times was one of the first to break this story and put an interesting spin on it.