To be of his time

Posted in Art market

To go further, I have just read 3 books rich in information to understand the acceleration of the evolutions of the contemporary art market over the last 10 years:

Lighting on the operation of a system

With the lucid analyses delivered by professionals, it emerges, for example, that French artists (and their supporters) find themselves excluded from an international system dominated by investors and art galleries that tend to put forward their financial interests.

  • We are no longer talking about Beauty, History, Works of Art, but about the work of reflection carried out by this or that artist, which is translated into "pieces", "installations", "performances".
  • Some artists were thus propelled at the beginning of their career and were not able to master their coast afterwards. Others, on the contrary, completely get off the "radars" because they do not fit into the "mould" of thought often "frozen" by the all-powerful "curators" (translate "curator").

Warning: to understand contemporary art, drop all references to easel painting: a new cycle is born where the spectator participates in the elaboration of the work. It is therefore necessary to be initiated and invest time to understand this new artistic language before making up one's own mind.

  • The tree that hides the forest:
    • The artists known in relation to auction records are not representative of the entire production but rather the reflection of a system between collectors, gallery owners, investors, institutions". The average price of a work of art is around €5,000, far from the spectacular soaring prices.
  • The collector of contemporary art wants to "be of his time" and to show that he can offer himself such an artist whose displayed and known coast is exposed like a "Trophy", according to Frederic ELKAIM. It is also the success of corporate collections (LVMH group collaboration with known artists whose results are more or less happy).

3 different approaches depending on the author's background

  • Frédéric ELKAIM, founder ofArt Now! proposes to accompany us (at last those who seek to understand) towards the contemporary artistic universe. It works sincerely towards a democratic access open to all.
    • In his book, there are no silly questions, no taboos, he dissects all the prejudices we feel. This hindrance to understanding for those who do not frequent the milieu, closes the actors in a microcosm that is difficult to penetrate and that they maintain by the absence of mediation most of the time. But let's be positive, it's our turn to shake up conventions.
    • With humour, his subjective lexicon to learn how to "speak contemporary art" is a delight and saves us from "nerdism" (thank you Frédéric!).
  • Nathalie OBADIA, "represents contemporary and French artists and participates in about ten international fairs" she explains perfectly the strategic stakes of "soft power" used wisely by the great economic powers.
    • After Rothko and Wharol's America, why are Europe and China having trouble convincing?
    • I liked his chapter on "collectors, at the center of the game" which says a lot about our tastes and the social group we belong to... Buying to show or assuming one's choices?
  • The Ministry of Culture details its quantified survey of collectors conducted in 2014;
    • the main motivations and profiles are multiple:
      • economic (return)
      • social satisfactions (possession of work: entering a socially desired group, satisfaction from the exchange with the members of the group ...)
      • collectors become producers by commissioning works (for private or public institutions)

In short, thanks to these recent analyses, we can follow the history of art writing a new chapter; what will remain of the highlights at the beginning of the 21st century?

I don't care, you have to "Be in your own time". Seeing contemporary creation and understanding movement is the reason for my visit to Monaco Art Week first edition last April: the tours in galleries and auction rooms, in addition to the PAD art + design show, meet the expectations of a new clientele that I may become!

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