Response to the Critics of “Occupy Art Basel Miami Beach, Now!”

My recent New York Observer article “Occupy Art Basel Miami Beach, Now!” has upset some people in the art world, including certain dealers, collectors, writers and especially the Art Basel company. The piece was intended to stimulate dialogue and it certainly did, though I regret that much of the irony was lost on some. Yes, I began my article by saying, “I’m not going to Art Basel Miami Beach this… Read more

Read the Press for “Occupy Art Basel Miami Beach, Now!”

Read the waterfall of press for my article: “Occupy Art Basel Miami Beach, Now!” Read the good, the bad, and the indifferent from The New York, Times, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Post, The New York Observer, W Magazine, Departures, The Spectator,, Artforum, The Art Newspaper, and Le Quotidien de l’Art.     From The New York Times, December 2, 2011:   All that said, a backlash… Read more

Occupy Art Basel Miami Beach, Now!

I’m not going to Art Basel Miami Beach this year. I’m through with it, basta. It’s become a bit embarrassing, in fact, because why should I be seen rubbing elbows with all those phonies and scenesters, people who don’t even pretend they are remotely interested in art?   And so, here it is, in print, just so no one has to ask me again. Here are all the things… Read more
Categorized as NY Observer

The 1% of the 1%: Stratospheric Prices at Auction Mask the Teeth Grinding of the Real Art Market

Last week’s outrageous auction results have left dealers and savvy collectors giddy, puzzled and mentally exhausted. A number of works soared to stupefying heights, defying the gravity of the euro crisis, the Middle East madness and the unexpected softening of gold prices. How and why, at times like these, can art values continue to peak, and Sotheby’s proudly report that it had the third-highest Contemporary sale results in its entire… Read more
Categorized as NY Observer

Cattelan at the Guggenheim? Are They Kidding?

I don’t get Maurizio Cattelan’s work. It’s not that I don’t have a sense of humor. I just have never found him funny. His art, which comprises Madame Tussaud’s-style wax figures (like a barefoot J.F.K. in a coffin) and stuffed animals (pigeons or golden retrievers), has always made me feel like the joke’s on me, or on the chump of a collector duped into buying one of these things for… Read more

Never Mind the Griping, Here’s the Art Market

Last week it was time once again for the Frieze Art Fair, London’s annual, thoroughly exhausting week-long art-viewing marathon. Everywhere I went I felt the presence of the 10,000-pound elephant in the room: the art market could be felt in every aspect of what was happening in London. There was more art for sale than I could ever imagine, and though I worked hard to see the entire smorgasbord of… Read more

Do I Need to See a $4 Billion Willem de Kooning Show?

It sounds terrible but I really didn’t like the de Kooning show. Perhaps one shouldn’t admit to such a thing in public, and yet I feel someone has to come forward and say it, and then try to explain it. Art is a visual experience, so words often fall short, but in this case I won’t mince mine, because the show is 90 percent predictable and formulaic. Today it is… Read more
Categorized as NY Observer

What Ever Happened to Tom Krens?

Last fall it was reported that the great Tom Krens was off the Guggenheim’s Abu Dhabi project, which seemed like big news because Mr. Krens was the creative mind and promoter of the project, but what’s even more strange is that we haven’t heard boo from the art world’s consummate museum showman since.   The Whitney Museum of American Art will soon abandon its architectural landmark on Madison Avenue (it… Read more
Categorized as NY Observer

Gold Is Up, But What About Art?

Back in early June I wrote a piece for the Art Newspaper in which I predicted that bad news would drive the price of gold, then at $1,500 an ounce, substantially higher.   Well, the bad news came, with the Standard & Poor’s rating agency’s downgrading our U.S. government debt, precipitating massive fear of a double-dip recession, which in turn has led to the overall perception that the current Obama… Read more

Out With the New

I spent almost a decade chasing the new new art but for the past year or two I’ve felt that there is less and less there there. What do I mean? I’d always sought to collect artists who were “emerging” or on the cusp of international renown, but in the postcrash, recessionary environment I’ve changed my outlook. My serious art collecting started a little more than a decade ago, when… Read more