First You Get The Money, Then You Get The Power

As the year winds to an end, I think I can officially say it: the art world is whack. It’s all about the Benjamins, and I don’t mean Walter.
I was going to post a diatribe, but instead, I’ll just point out what I’ve already said in print: the small comparison I made between the ravenous fixation on Richard Prince’s appropriations and the parodic, poll-driven works of Komar & Melamid; my calling into question the credibility of a system [i.e., price] that persists in systematically discounting the influence, importance, and value of half the culture; a pair of artists’ self-serving embrace of that same system to overinflate the importance of their work; and the apparently unstoppable influence of the market on the conceptual underpinnings of an artist’s work after he’s gone.
Jerry Saltz hits on a lot of it in his great, biting end-of-year essay in the Voice this week. [I’m glad someone else will call BS on that hilariously embarassing Wizard of Oz photospread in Vogue last month. The idea that someone with a straight [sic] face asked the famously closeted Jasper Johns to be the Cowardly Lion? If I didn’t know how deadly serious the Vogue people took it, I’d say it was the awesomest slam ever of the whole artist-as-vapid-celebrity schtick since Francesco Vezzoli.]
Here’s hoping that in 2006, somehow the bubble will pop, the winds will change, and not too many of my friends’ livelihoods will suffer too much as a result; because I’m looking forward to seeing the art that comes out of it.