How the art market influences 8 leading British artists

Another great article from The Guardian by Sarah Thornton. Read it here.

Some highlights:

“There remains a strong feeling in the art world that good art is made by people with more profound goals or intellectual ambitions than simply making money. As the former YBA Gavin Turk told me: ‘If artists are primarily motivated by profit, they may not be artists any more. They could just be producers of something.” Turk, 41, started out at the heart of the British art scene, one of the many YBAs represented by Jay Jopling’s White Cube gallery.’ “
Good news for painters–painting is still not dead:

“The medium that typifies the current bull market for art is painting. It hangs efficiently on the wall; it doesn’t consume floor space; it is easy to store. Sensual canvases in happy colours, using glitzy materials or fetishistic techniques are a good bet. Where does this leave the many contemporary artists who don’t paint – who work in mixed media, or with other artists, or with materials that decay?”

Artist Isaac Julien when asked to comment on the recent Damien Hirst auction was uncynical about the commodification and success of the auction overall. But his comments about specific Hirst works was more insightful:

“About the individual Hirst works that went on the block, Julien is more circumspect. ‘Warhol’s use of repetition had real intellectual meaning. Nowadays, I wonder if seriality is not just a way of printing money.'”

And there is still a gender gap.

“At the bottom end, walk into any degree show and you will invariably find that the boys have pitched their asking prices higher than the girls.”

Thornton is the author of the upcoming book Seven Days in the Art World. A review of that book can be read at The Art Newspaper, where she is a contributor.

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