Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The TRUTH About Art Dealers

"People don't appreciate the creativity of dealing art. In the contemporary market, it is the dealer--not the artist--who does most of the work. Without us, there would be no Modernism, no Minimalism, no movements at all. All the contemporary legends would be painting houses or teaching adult education classes. Museum collections would grind to a halt after the Renaissance; sculptors would still be carving pagan gods; video would be the province of pornography; graffiti a petty crime rather than the premise behind a multimillion-dollar industry. Art, in short, would cease to thrive. And this is because--in a post-Church, post-patronage era--dealers refine and pipeline the fuel that drives art's engine, that has always driven it and always will: money.

"These days especially, there is simply too much material out there for any normal person to distinguish between good and bad. That's the dealer's job. We are creators, too--only we create markets, and our medium is the artists themselves. Markets, in turn, create movements, and movements create tastes, culture, the canon of acceptability--in short, what we think of as art itself. A piece of art becomes a piece of art--and an artist becomes an artist--when I make you take out your checkbook."

from The Genius by Jesse Kellerman, 2008


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