From the FDR, an enormous red balloon dog is instantly recognizable as the handiwork, minus the “hand” and arguably also the “work,” of Jeff Koons. Art makes history. I shiver to think this will be ours. If Koons is the most successful artist since Warhol, and if what we think of Warhol is also and forever what we think of the ‘60s, what of now? Of now, then, the question isn’t what is art, or why it’s art, but who gets to make it.
One answer is that I would like work to be made by those who cannot afford to have others do the handi part for them, by artists closer to union workers, or Cooper’s Union-ers fighting for free tuition in the future, than to Wall Street-era CEOs or their brats.
Another answer, one attempted by a distinct minority of the representatives at this year’s fair, is that art should be made for those who cannot afford to buy it.
A great report on the Frieze Art Fair by Sarah Nicole Prickett. I suspect that SNP’s ambition is to write like Susan Sontag. If so, she’s doing a pretty damn good job. There’s virtually no one else who can write in a relevant, cogent, intellectually-demanding way about art for what Thomas Hirchhorn called the “non-exclusive art audience” — that is, people who are not artists, curators, gallerists, administrators, critics, or any other kind of “art person”, but who may be interested in attending museums or reading about art.
Most newspaper art critics (what few still exist) don’t count, in my opinion.