BOWERY POETRY CLUB: Applications for 2014 | New York on Oct 17 | Bowery Arts and Science is pleased to announce an open call for January-May 2014 programming at Bowery Poetry. We are accepting proposals for acts, events, and series that showcase, connect, nourish, and celebrate a diverse array of artistic expression and creative thinking. Our new space is elegant and intimate, perfect for readings, solo performance, small ensemble performance, panels, salons, group workshops, break-out brainstorms, site-specific interventions, mixers, cabarets, and more.
KLAUS STAECK: Invitation | Berlin on Jan 9 :
International Mail Art Exhibition at Akademie der Künste, Berlin
Format: postcards measuring 10.5 x 14.8 up to 21 cm [4.13 x 5.51 up to 8.27 inches]
Deadline: March 15, 2013
Visual letters, artists' postcards and Mail Art taken from the collection of the
Akademie der Künste and the Staeck collection, curated by Rosa von der Schulenburg.
Opening date: Thursday, April 25, 2013 at 7 pm, Pariser Platz 4, 10117 Berlin/Germany
A project by Klaus Staeck and Lutz Wohlrab.
All contributions will be incorporated into the collection of the Akademie der Künste.
EXHIBITION: August 30 through December 8, 2013.
PLEASE SEND SUBMISSIONS TO:
Akademie der Künste | Klaus Staeck | Pariser Platz 4 | 10117 Berlin, Germany
In my area in Mexico I am known also as a cultural promoter organizing professional art exhibits and I am the editor of an online art magazine in English and in Spanish. That is just to let you know that I do have substantial experience of the art world. Unfortunately, I also happen to know how the Casino Capitalism of today creates unhealthy interference waves within the art market. In fact, there are 3 of those markets and they are very different one from the other.
The first one concerns only long dead artists who continue their existence in museums or in private collections. Some of those works are sold in celebrity auctions and make headlines because successful bids go to multi-million dollar - today even more than 100 million - price tags. Unless they are stolen in most spectacular art heists.
The second is sanctified and built around participation by top galleries and top star contemporary artists in large scale professional world class art fairs like Art Basel or Art Miami, for example. To those we can add the annual contemporary art auctions in famous houses, like Christies to name just one, and once in a lifetime exhibits in star galleries or museums. Price tags run often up to several millions for the star performers like a Damien Hirsch, for example. On the lower end of the market price tags will rarely be less than a few hundreds of thousands of dollars for a piece. On the first day of art Basel, it is not unusual to see more than 200 private jets touch down at the airport and some of the star galleries show “Sold Out” signs. We are looking at a lot of money going to buy a lot of very expensive art!
The third concerns us, the unknown artists - or should I be optimistic and say the still unknown artists? As far as the two first art markets are concerned, we are non-existant for the professionals organizing those markets. We have to scratch and to whine to be accepted in normal art galleries and it might take us close to a life time to get a retrospective in a provincial museum. Some of us can live well from our art - the majority of us can only exercise our art as a side line occupation. But as the Devils behind the scenes will it, some of us, very, very few, will be able to eventually make it to level two. To reach level three, the Russian Roulette is a saver way to step up in life!
In a few brush strokes these 3 markets only represent the big picture, the framing so to say. You might assume that a form of natural selection has taken place, propelling the greatest talents and the most gifted to the upper reaches of success. Normally that is as it should be in a world which is still sound and healthy. For the majority of artists this not the case! Or that a natural law of the Economy, which is the dynamic power behind “Money”, or that at best “Offer and Demand” was at work. Whatever it is, it is definitively it not the reward for imagination, courage, perseverance and professionalism which would make a good artist reach those lofty heights. Today these qualities are not enough to succeed in the art market.
I know through personal experience as a promoter and coordinator of art activities that even in a normal world, the difficulty with giving any form of quantitative judgment on art, outside of its already established commercial status, is skewed because of the subjective nature of making a choice. The virtual impossibility to establish objectively what is excellent, mediocre or bad art, even if sometimes talent is glaringly obvious, doesn’t help the artist to achieve a better status in most cases.
Only in rare cases, where the material quality and integrity of the workmanship may be lacking so severely, is it possible to give a negative grade of qualification to an art work. But in the official world of the contemporary art market such grading is not applied. Therefore one could say that such qualitative judgments have nothing to do whatsoever with the forces which propel a given artist to success or eventually even into star status.
So what makes a contemporary artist famous enough to live of his art, or even become a star that makes millions? The answer is very simple: greed and not talent! Commercial opportunism, speculation and a healthy dose of luck! One more time we are entering a dysfunctional territory of the Casino Economy - the glitzy world of art speculation on a very large scale. We witness once more that it is the dysfunctional, the irrational and crudely monetarian dynamics which rule most of the market place for contemporary art, and not very often the quality of art and the integrity of the artist.
I am not talking here about the few excellent artists who have been propelled to the top by their own intelligence and perseverance, and especially by the quality of their work. Neither do I mention those few who didn’t pander to the roulette of art speculation and greedy collectors, but made it to their place of eminence by intelligently climbing the professional ladder of success in a more normal fashion.
What we really see is that the unbridled and greed dominated speculation destroys the chance for the vast majority of good artists to succeed in this skewed and lopsided market - how it actually even manages to destroy the success of artists who are already established - how intrinsic and spiritual content of art is replaced by speculative market value - how collectors do not buy art, because they like it or because it would culturally enrich their mind, but because they hope for a monetary reward - how artist prostitute themselves and lower their standards to please a prevailing taste or request by the art market - how art has become a playground for bidding for the sensational, for loud and insensitive provocative innovation rather than for the pursuit of quality .... the list could go on and on. Once more, the ego at work ...