From Remodern Review:
Play D’oh! A Jeff Koons Pile of “Art”.
“It’s a commercial world, and morality is based generally around economics,
and that’s taking place in the art gallery.”
.Part of what I want this blog to do is expose certain notorious figures of the commercialized contemporary art world to a new audience.
I’d like to help educate all you good people who, up until now, have been uninterested, alienated, or even hostile to the efforts of today’s networked creative classes, and their deep-pocketed supporters.
From what I see, the potential audience of the disengaged is practically everyone in entire world.
Elitist malfeasance has marginalized the visual arts in popular culture. Practically no one is paying attention to contemporary art other than a small bubble of artists, academics, institution apparatchiks, trophy-hunting high rollers, and those who wish to vicariously participate in their presumed sophistication.
Since most people have tuned out the shenanigans of this arrogant, decadent band of charlatans, you might be unaware of what the art world racket has been producing. You haven’t been missing much.
In this example, we have a major perpetrator of the corrupt art world status quo: Jeff Koons.
What’s up Doc? A Long Eared Galoot, and one of his Sculptures
Throughout his career, Jeff Koons has racked up approximately $765 million dollars in sales. He does not make the pieces sold under his brand name. The actual work is done by anonymous skilled craftsmen. Koons contributes “concepts” that others execute.
And what kind of ideas has this mogul graced us with that have generated such windfalls? Treasures such as these:...
***...Koons may be best known for a series of giant stainless steel replicas of balloon animals. An orange version of one sold for over $58 million.
Over inflated: Wiener Dog Art
Then there was the era in the 1990s when Koons married Cicciolina, an Italian XXX film performer. Koons commissioned a whole series of artworks featuring the couple engaging in hardcore sexytime action (Warning: link is definitely NSFW). They were divorced in 1998; I can’t imagine why....
...Not everything is coming up inflatable tulips for the crafty con artist, however. Koons graciously offered to donate a monument to France for the victims of the 2015 terrorist attack: a 35 foot tall hand holding balloon flowers. He graciously expected them to install it next to the Eiffel Tower. The French not so graciously rejected this blatant attempt at product placement. Negotiations are ongoing.
One of the top selling artists of this era of art specializes in obscenely expensive replicas of cheap toys, gimmicks, and smut. So what is the significance of this?
To understand, you need to look at one of the foundational conceits of art world elitism: the Marxist tinged struggle between the avant-gard and kitsch.
These terms rose to prominence in a 1939 essay by art critic Clement Greenberg. A devotee of the leftist Frankfurt School, Greenberg propounded his contempt for popular American culture. In my upcoming book, Remodern America: How the Renewal of the Arts Will Change the Course of Western Civilization, I explain Greenberg’s assertions:
“…he claimed the cultural world could be divided in two. The avant-garde (a military term referring to strike force troops, who go ahead of the main army) were forward-thinking sophisticates, whose radical creations were driven by a contempt for the tacky tastes of the general public.
“To Greenberg, the common people were too ignorant to appreciate the rarefied efforts of the avant-garde; these backwards types could only appreciate kitsch (a German word used for low quality art), a phony vision of art which tugged at middle class sensations like beauty, patriotism, and sentimental feelings. A Norman Rockwell painting on the cover of a popular magazine was the kind of thing that could make an intellectual like Greenberg retch.
...MUCH MORESo how did the art world move from rejecting the tawdry stylings of disposable popular culture to glorifying them?...“Greenberg declared, ‘…part of Western bourgeois society has produced something unheard of heretofore: avant-garde culture. A superior consciousness of history—more precisely, the appearance of a new kind of criticism of society, an historical criticism—made this possible.’ The consciousness Greenberg refers to as ‘superior’ just happens to be his own, as he proceeded over the next few decades presumptively acting as the ultimate authority on art.”
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Commercialism As The Last 'ism' in Art:..."
“Making money is art, and working is art and good business is the best art.”
I stole the 'ism' line from dealer Michael Finley's 2012 book The Value of Art.At least I'll always have my CryptoKitties. Besides being cute as can be, I was told:
Just as Duveen hit one of his dealing career high points with Gainsborough's 'Blue Boy' Finley can lay claim to putting together the deal that transferred van Gogh's Portrait of Dr. Gachet....
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