With unprecedented access to pivotal artists and the white-hot market surrounding them, this film dives deep into the contemporary art world, holding a fun-house mirror up to our values and...
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A documentary about an important American still photographer who captured New York City in the 1960s (his work there is said to have influenced the TV show Mad Men) and later the West in Texas and Los Angeles.
Sasha Waters Freyer
With unprecedented access to pivotal artists and the white-hot market surrounding them, this film dives deep into the contemporary art world, holding a fun-house mirror up to our values and our times -- where everything can be bought and sold.Written by
These documentaries lamenting the hyper-ueber-capitalization of the art world are now coming out in a steady stream. The overarching theme is the effect that the commodification of art is having upon artists themselves. As portrayed here, artists are either adopted as protégés by powerful art brokers, or they are completely ignored and destined to live out their lives in a state of penury. Meanwhile, many ¨collectors¨ are really investors looking to flip artworks in the manner in which they flip real estate--purely for profit.
This particular version of the story offers especially derogatory portraits of corporate-artists (for lack of a better term) such as Jeff Koons, but also of the dealers who negotiate what are apparently trades in many cases (to avoid tax debt), and the collectors whom they woo. Once again, I come away with impression that the collectors and dealers being interviewed have no idea how sad they come off to the people watching the film. They must think that they are going to be famous for these appearances. At most, the collectors featured may attain a modicum of infamy for their motley and sometimes aesthetically repugnant juxtaposition of large numbers of works whose only true connection is found in their insanely high ticket price. As for the dealers? Just ordinary opportunists who have seized upon a peculiarly lucrative development in the history of art.
It seems safe to say that this film will will not encourage people to become collectors and may in fact contribute to the prognosticated pop of the bubble. Fortunately there is no effort here (as in Blurred Lines) to lobby for regulation of the art market, which would be a complete and unmitigated disaster. Just look at the effect that government intervention had on art in the USSR...
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