This book is a fly-on-the-wall account of the seven strange subcultures that make, trade, curate and collect and hype contemporary art. The author spends a day at an art auction (Christie's), an intellectual art magazine (Artforum) an art school (California Institute of Arts), an art fair (Art Basel), interviews those surrounding the always controversial Brit art prize (the Turner) pays a studio visit of one of the world's highest paid artists (Takashi Murakami) and attends a prestigious international art exhibition (the Biennale in Venice. Her constant question is: "What is art?"
What we thought:
Kenny: Go with your instincts and buy what you enjoy looking at. Art is like any other product - marketing and name recognition plays a big part in success and pricing - but that does not always correlate with a piece of Art that moves your mind.
Carson: The book demystified the modern art world by breaking it down from art school all the way to resale at auction. I especially enjoyed the chapters that focused on the artists themselves... The Crit and The Prize. The other chapters expose the art world as a quirky business model with art and artists as products to be managed by galleries, auction houses, and art magazines. The art and the artist can become very disconnected in the process of selling and collecting art. A better glimpse into the world of contemporary artists is the documentary film Herb and Dorothy.
Amy: Really interesting look into the world of contemporary art
What do you think art is? Our next book is By Nightfall by Michael Cunningham, author of The Hours. It's a story of a mid-forties New York couple, who thought they were happy enough until her brother comes to visit. Read along with us!