For little old me, the art world finally jumped the shark in December 2014 with Miley Cyrus rocking out middle-aged ultra-high-net-worth individuals posing as collectors at the Raleigh Hotel in honour of Art Basel Miami Beach. Where has authenticity in art gone you might ask? What would dearly departed On Kawara say about the current state of art? He’d probably say ‘16 December’ or something like that, but you get my drift. So my final wishlist of the year is infused with a desire for real meaning and authenticity in art and to that end, to write it I used Gerry Bibby and Anders Clausen’s The Drumhead, described by London’s not-for-profit space The Showroom as ‘a floating action pen’ and is available from them for the princely sum of £2. It’s not the greatest pen from a functional point of view but makes me come over with that 1970s serious critical theory vibe that the Showroom emanates. This is a good start.
And I’ll be doing all this writing whilst wearing a Patricia Fleming Projects x Duncan Campbell Discordia T-Shirt that cheerily exhorts ‘No Smoking.’ Campbell was the runaway winner of a Turner Prize that was widely mocked in the British press for having too much meaning (and too much of that nasty video art) and so deserves a mention in our quest for significance. And the T-shirt is only £25.
Gallery Girl would be a fan of the Brooklyn Rail if it was freely available in my leafy part of South London, but it’s not. But it does look like it's committed to unearthing an authentic vibe in the mean streets of the New York artworld so I’m happy to log onto Paddle8’s online auction for the periodical’s benefit and aggressively bid for the Josephine Halvorson gouache that was looking very good value for money when I last looked (although the one person who had bid on it won’t thank me for pointing that out).
But finally, surely true authentic meaning must lie in the works of ArtReview’s favourite artist, James Franco. After all if he’s important enough for Hans Ulrich Obrist to recently do an ‘in conversation’ with him at Maja Hoffman’s gaff (with Klaus Biesenbach Skypeing occasionally), this guy has got to be the real deal right? I think Maja’s chums have probably hoovered up all of Franco’s paintings after that intergalactic meeting of minds, so the final item on this wishlist is a ‘Cute James Franco Military Cap’, available from CafePress at just £10.50 (down from £13). I shall pop this on my head and recall Hans Ulrich’s much-quoted observation, made in 2007: ‘I think great artists always change what we expect from art.’ And then recall an even more profound quote from Franco: ‘A life without Franco is like a kitten without fur.’ Where can the art world go from here readers? Only onwards and upwards into 2015!
17 December 2014.