Extremely successful art collector and Saatchi Gallery owner Charles Saatchi has unleashed a lengthy, scathing attack on “the hideousness of the art world” and the “vulgar and depressingly shallow” “super-rich art-buying crowd.” In his rant of dissent from within he has found a perfect metaphor for all that is wrong with the Art World: Russian oil ‘n’ gas billionaire/art fiend Roman Abramovich’s laser-shooting mega-yacht that invaded the Venice Biennale that one time.
You really must read this rant.
Some choice jabs:
“Being an art buyer these days is comprehensively and indisputably vulgar. It is the sport of the Eurotrashy, Hedge-fundy, Hamptonites; of trendy oligarchs and oiligarchs; and of art dealers with masturbatory levels of self-regard. They were found nestling together in their super yachts in Venice for this year’s spectacular art biennale.”
And to continue re: those who “cannot tell a good artist from a weak one:”
“Do any of these people actually enjoy looking at art? Or do they simply enjoy having easily recognised, big-brand name pictures, bought ostentatiously in auction rooms at eye-catching prices, to decorate their several homes, floating and otherwise, in an instant demonstration of drop-dead coolth and wealth. Their pleasure is to be found in having their lovely friends measuring the weight of their baubles, and being awestruck.
It is no surprise, then, that the success of the uber art dealers is based upon the mystical power that art now holds over the super-rich. The new collectors, some of whom have become billionaires many times over through their business nous, are reduced to jibbering gratitude by their art dealer or art adviser, who can help them appear refined, tasteful and hip, surrounded by their achingly cool masterpieces.”