Saatchi and the hideous art world
Observations on the blowup of the notorious art collector

by Jizaino, 19 December 2011

Norman Rockwell, “The art critic” (detail), 1955. Oil con canvas, ~ 100 x 92 cm

The shallow approach to Art

In the shaping of the people's collective imaginary, contemporary art has a reasonable role, although it is "painted" with a perhaps too often distorted or mythicized way.
As i always assert, Art is at first message, communication, transmission of concepts, feelings or sensations: we may say that this is right the main motivation to which the birth of Jizaino is due.

The picture that the Art neophyte creates in its mind is often that of an elitist, futile, snob world; stuff for rich people. Actually that is not so, although, not going beyond appearance, it could have the reason.
All along many of the casual art shows' beholders liquidate the contemporary art world, and also the modern art one in general, as something disappointing or even worthless, although they are again and mysteriously attracted by it each time over again. All right, today finally also an influential voice it has been raised in support of these complaints. That is the one of Charles Saatchi, the renowned art collector and promoter from Great Britain and of Iraqi origins, who saw the dawn of pieces of contemporary art history.

At the end of this page there is the link to the original article appeared on The Guardian several days ago.

Summing it up, the Saatchi's article openly and bitterly accuses that vortex of hedonistic hypocrisy of the many who revolve around the contemporary art world just to figure in great art openings and trendy parties, and where the only attendance's interest is to show off one's own social or intellectual superiority, or either to wink and adulate important art critics and artists. Before going on with the reading of my following conclusion, to better understand what we are talking about, you can read the article clicking the link at the bottom of the page.

The detrimental loss for Art

Although for me Art is surely something MUCH more important, i do not want to say that those peacock attitudes are absolutely negative, although obviously haughtiness and conceit are attitudes that, as a principle, are aimed to the subjection and to discomfort the other; and in fact they discomfort those who are instead really interested to Art.
Surely Art is also a world made of frivolity and aesthetics, and everyone is free to live in it and to interpret it at will; but there is difference between humble and innocent shallowness and hollow and perfidious presumption.
You can figure out then what could be the care for the meanings of the artworks shown in certain grand vernissage: almost zero; or better, sometimes the meanings are not even present in the artworks indeed, since they are never considered by the hordes of viveur who can not stop to have cocktails and babbles.

This world made of superficial appearance, hypocrisy, glamour and ostentation of factual or alleged successful living, brings a consequence very detrimental to Art: the departure and the interest loss by the people's side, of those who feel they are not among "the ones who count". This may even be pointed out as the main cause.
People, neophytes above all, are abashed, or even simply annoyed, by this pervasive halo of hauteur that falls from the highs and by the ostentation of alleged and sometimes pathetically would-be elitism, as if it would be the key prerequisite to enter an art gallery.

Let us not forget that anybody can buy Art, perhaps doing exactly as many art collectors did to own by now a real fortune: they started buying artworks from beginners or not yet much known artists.
But above all let us remember that, as the notorious art critic Philippe Daverio says, an artwork must be bought in primis when WE LIKE IT. When and until we can afford the purchase of a certain artist, we do not need to have our personal taste changed by art critics or art counselors; later, if in the future your choices will have been lucky, they may ALSO turn into investments of unexpected revaluation.
No art counselor can say if in ten years the artwork of an artist will be considered as a Warhol.
But, differently by what many may think, and above all in recession and depression times like these, we must underline that contemporary art is a so called "store value", much more than any bank money-boxes.

The original article

The article by Charles Saatchi:

It is also available the Italian translation: just click the language icon on the menu bar at the top.

Jizaino -