An Australian street artist seems an unlikely figure to reprise Robert Hughes‘s market-averse brand of video art criticism. But Peter Drew, last covered in this space when frivolously threatened with expulsion at the Glasgow School of Art, echoes something of the late critic’s anti-commercial attitude in a new series, Art vs. Reality, that turns a critical and historical eye to contemporary art’s institutional structures — from galleries to fairs and criticism. The first episode, “Art Galleries vs. Reality” (above) was released this week, and features Drew, made up as an art critic, leading the viewer through a brief history of the gallery system in an attempt to explain why “it became very difficult to find art in the art world.” Whether or not you agree with this perspective or sensibility, serious new media voices are rare in criticism, and Drew embraces the YouTube format with engaging visuals and snappy, web-inflected language.
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