Saturday night I went to the ICA for a talk on The End of the Art World..?
This discussion will examine the perceived backlash against contemporary art with headlines of record breaking auction prices contradicting news of artist defections, disillusioned critics, over-production, the collapse of the middle market, and the growing difficulties faced by younger artists and their galleries. All the above have contributed to a climate of widespread suspicion, bolstered by splits between big name galleries and their star artists.
Is this the end of the art world as we know it, or are we simply moving into unchartered territories…?
It was interesting but some of it went over similar ground as the book Seven Days in the Art World that I mentioned a couple of posts ago. At the end though there weren’t any definite conclusions as to how things could be made better. I am still chewing on all this and haven’t come to any kinds of conclusions but it isn’t such a different situation to the rest of life: a few people earning vast amounts of money, most not enough, and rewards perhaps only very loosely linked to talent and achievement.
The other thing to catch my interest this week is the number of students vying for places at art college – despite the hike in tuition fees here in the UK. The question is what will all these new gradutes/postgraduates do? Unless they make it into the super league, there doesn’t seem to be a big enough market to sustain them. And do I want to add to their number? On what basis should I do so? And what realistically can I expect if I were to go ahead and try and get myself an Arts’ qualification? I just don’t know the answers to these questions but they make me uncomfortable – what makes me any different to all the other applicants? Why should I deserve a place more than one of these others? Well…
Meanwhile, despite all this, I’ve been trying to push on with my own stuff and be a bit bolder – this is a charcoal and pastel drawing that I did – after seemingly a very long time! – of my daughter. It’s really a warm up but it is much bigger than I normally work and I found I was comfortable with that – to my surprise. It’s about 90cm high. So that’s that all for today, till Wednesday!
Charcoal and pastel on paper