I fired off an email to Charlie Finch's editor/wingman last night, and even though I'm a ridiculous apprentice of nothing, he graciously favored me with a reply. If only I had a nicer rack, he might've gotten me a group show somewhere.
From: email@example.com on behalf of Greg Allen
Sent: Mon 2/13/2006 9:26 PM
To: Walter Robinson
Subject: You really need to let Charlie go start a blog of his own
I have to tell you, Charlie Finch's columns have been prurient and sexist for quite some time, and I'm sure it has a following among an older, hairy-eared, mouthbreathing microsegment of Artnet's readership, but to many others, including myself and many collectors, dealers, and artists I've spoken with about him over the years--men and women alike, including several of the female artists who have been objectified and diminished in print by Finch's pawing prose-- his writing presents an unenlightened, retrograde blight. It's offensive and uncalled for. It's sexist and demeaning in a blatant way that was long ago identified as such by a civil society. Artnet's continued publication of Finch's writing leads one--me, at least--to conclude that you and Artnet support or at least assent to Finch's POV, even if it is under the guise of editorial independence.
Seriously, his demeaning discussions of female artists are the gender equivalent of racist asides, the kind even Strom Thurmond eventually learned not to voice publicly; Trent Lott, of course, learned that lesson the hard way, and it cost him his leadership post and bully pulpit. It's long past time for Finch to pay the same price. It's not like you'll be silencing him, of course; only disavowing his demeaning view of women and their art. I'm sure a wheel as squeaky as Finch will fulfill Artnet's 2006 prognostication and launch a blog of his own. By his--and apparently your--criteria, the only qualifications that matter in the art world are a penis and a willingness to flog someone with it.
For now, I'll refrain from posting this as an open letter on my own blog, but judging from the rising drumbeat online, it's only a matter of time before headlines of Artnet Sexism and Misogyny start propagating on- and off-line. I don't think I'll wait too long, though, to start talking up dealers and artists about Finch and Artnet, starting with the ones I buy most regularly from--and the ones who advertise on Artnet.
From: Walter Robinson 7:41 am (5 minutes ago)
Subject: who is greg allen?
ha ha, thanks for your comments, as stupid as they are. W