Evelina Cajacob, Hand Arbeit 2011
It is huge and totally bewildering, the Art Basel fair. It’s dynamic history dating back to 1970 and three Basel gallerists explains to some extent why it is the world’s foremost gathering of galleries, collectors, investors, art lovers, etc. Nowhere else can you see more than 300 art galleries presenting more than 4000 artists and making business to the alleged sum of about US$ 2 billion in just four days.
Washington Post’s Kartherine Boyle has an interesting angle on it all: What does Art Basel tell us about wealth and the general economy? It is not the only angle, of course, but what you do experience is, indeed, the perverse commercialization of everything art at the art “market”. Today’s art world consists of promotion of marketable status symbols at often ridiculously high prices without even the slightest relation to whatever you may believe could be called quality.
Art lover in front of Louise Lawler’s “Salon Hodler”, 1992-93 © Jan Oberg 2013
“It’s all about marketing, there is no other criteria today”, as a British art dealer friend of mine laments. And having been in the business for more than four decades, he knows. And he still comes here every year because – yes, exactly – it is, at the same time, damn exciting to experience all that happens. Continue reading