If fairs like Frieze draw art and money into uncomfortably close proximity, all that does is state the obvious. To separate them — to pretend that the former can float free of the latter — might appear to be a clean, ethical stance, but that’s a misperception.
Once it seemed to matter — the high end, I mean. Art and money, when you put the two words together, would invariably lead to HirstMurakamiKoons unless they were referencing KoonsMurakamiHirst. And the crazy gushes of cash that went their way, and the way they flaunted it, became prime rib for glossy magazines and academic panels alike. But that was so 2007.
Tonight, the group W.A.G.E. (Working Artists and the Greater Economy), will release the results of the artists survey they conducted with Artists Space, a gallery in Soho. The survey found that 58% of the nearly 1,000 artists interviewed (including visual and performing artists) received no compensation at all for exhibiting or presenting their work at nonprofits in New York.
I have long suspected that all the press attention garnered by the Cariou v Prince story, with its heady mix of celebrity, power and money has caused the importance of this case to become magnified in the eyes of courtroom outsiders.
In a letter to “potential photo buyers” 252+ self-identified professional photographers outline why they can’t “work for free.” This letter appears designed as a link that photographers can send to individuals who request the use of images for no monetary compensation.
Now showing at Pavel Zoubok Gallery in Chelsea, Mark Wagner uses collaged United States dollar bills as his signature medium. He meticulously dissects and reconstitutes the ubiquitous note into highly detailed sketch-like drawings. Full of filigree and ornamentation, his images tinker with the inner workings of American mythology.