You Stay Classy, Bruce Ratner

In less than thirty seconds, I could rattle off a dozen people in the real estate business, and another easy dozen in the video and film business, and a dozen in the finance business, who have incredibly, admirably, even enviably sophisticated views of art and the art world.
And yet, in two short emailed paragraphs, a hapless Atlantic Yard minion resets the real estate and banking cultural clocks to zero:

Hi, I’m working on an in house promotional video for Frank Gehry and the Atlantic Yards Project. We will be taping in Williamsburg this Thursday or Friday and are interested in videoing an artist in his or her work space. The work should be large and colorful and the space should be interesting, windows or some nice architecture. It should also be at least 700 to 1000 square feet or bigger.
This video will be shown to investors and could be an opportunity to highlight the artists work. We will have a small crew of about 8 people and shouldn’t be there longer than an hour or two. We can give the artist a nominal fee of 250.00 as we have no location budget.

I don’t know what giant, controversial idea lurking beneath which blithely unaware comment is more entertaining to contemplate:

  • the real estate developer’s imperative for art that’s “large and colorful”
  • the artist as lifestyle purveyor in an actual investment banking video
  • the already gentrifying artist participating in his own out-gentrification
  • a multi-billion-dollar project’s broke-ass, indie film promise of “promotion” in lieu of “budget”
  • the idea that anyone who can afford a thousand square feet of “nice architecture” in Williamsburg these days actually makes art
  • the idea that this is all for a Frank Gehry project.
    You stay classy, too, Frank.
    Calling All ‘Burg Artists: Want to Sell Out for Atlantic Yards? [curbed]