Seven Days in the Art World

I am currently reading “Seven Days in the Art World” by Sarah Thornton.  Thornton gives descriptions of different art world experiences, one per chapter, such as a fair, a grad school critique, a biennial, an auction, etc.  These experiences are enlightening, but also disheartening.  It breaks down the romance of what it mean to be an artist and makes it sound as exciting as a day of stock trading on Wall Street.

I suppose this means I must admit that I succumb to the romantic ideal of a tortured artist, in the throws of self expression, passionate and wild with little concern for money or fame.  Well both are true, because the art world is not really composed of artists, but a secondary string of “art professionals” who make the money.

So where does that leave the artist?  A victim of consumerist culture and contemporary business?  I suppose, in a way  none of us can escape what and who it is we are if we want to be known, acknowledged, and respected for our art.  What does the artist ever really want, other than to make great art? So the art world exists like galaxy revolving around the artist’s black hole center.  Maybe this is a slightly egotistical and dark place to put the artist, but I had to use a cosmos analogy.