How to Be an Art Star

How to Be an Art Star

Some cynical, perplexed, and possibly spot-on observations “Art star.” It’s a deplorable term, I know, but it’s out there as a label to describe those who have achieved a shining spot in the galaxy, commanding huge sums at auction, getting the nod from major critics,...
Further Thoughts on Collecting

Further Thoughts on Collecting

Some unsolicited advice from a rank amateur I recently read online an excerpt from The Orange Balloon Dog: Bubbles, Turmoil and Avarice in the Contemporary Art Market, the latest book from economist and art market commentator Don Thompson, which will be available in...
The Biennial Brouhaha

The Biennial Brouhaha

Protests at the Whitney raise questions about race, politics, and bad painting In case you missed it, the big art-world kerfuffle of the week, possibly of the season, happened following the launch of the 2017 Whitney Biennial last week when several artists took...
How NOT To Collect

How NOT To Collect

A few cautionary tales In the years between acquiring a master’s degree in art history—and burning out on the prospect of becoming an art historian—I did a number of reasonably adult things. I got married. I held down a series of editorial jobs with magazines that...
The Limits of Protest Art

The Limits of Protest Art

What can it really do? While driving home from Albuquerque on Thursday, terrified and disgusted by the news on the radio, I popped in a CD from an audiobook that had been languishing in my back seat for weeks. Picasso’s War, by Oliver Wyman, tells the story of the...
Confessions of a Cranky Critic

Confessions of a Cranky Critic

Yes, I have been living under a rock. And I’m proud of it. When I read, a few days ago, that Helen Marten had been named the 2016 winner of the Turner Prize, Britain’s biggest accolade in contemporary art, I drew a big fat blank. “Helen who?” was my response....