Opinion

Turning Ideas Into Spiels

Leon Neyfakh of The New York Observer takes aim at the shit that floats in the art world and boy does he make his case.

In “Bullshit Artists,” he quotes curator Robert Storr, who is also the dean of Yale School of Art, on numerous occasions and I’ve never heard Storr sound more insightful:

“Some people think while they’re talking and other people don’t … People who think while they’re talking are interesting to listen to even if you disagree with them and even if they have a weakness for certain kinds of intellectual cliches. But people who are just broadcasting received opinion are not interesting no matter how clever they are.”

and

For Mr. Storr, the rise in pseudo-intellectual nonsense is the result of a growing art world, not necessarily a function of the art market.

“It’s always been like this, but the magnitude of everything makes it different … The art world really was a lot smaller within my relatively recent memory. We’re just talking about tons and tons of people out there, playing. And your chances of bumping into the less inspired ones have increased exponentially.”

“There was a time when some serious thought that later got reduced to catchphrases nonetheless was serious, and nonetheless did convey something about the art … The turning of ideas into pitches, so to speak, was at the cost of ideas. We lost some good ideas because they got turned into spiels.”

Now there’s a man I want to attend an art opening with.

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