It is fair time again. On the heels of The Armory show, Scope New York and a host of others, the art world is fully entrenched in the workings of commerce. I hear rumblings and musings of the same kind every round: “$25 million is the new million!!” Or, “Lets bring a few pieces to Scope and see what happens.” Another friend complained, “I just got a New York gallery but he’s only shown me in Miami!” Like it or not, the fair is the central generator of gossip, exchange, parties, career building and, most importantly, where to find folks with money.
Perhaps my favorite take on fairs is our own Thomas Marquet’s comic strip “The White Cube.” Marquet’s wry look at the art world boils it down to a kind of Dilbert amped on critical theory and Chris Ware. The strip is at its sharpest with its focus on the mundane workings of commerce, the menial and sometimes degrading aspects of running a gallery, and most recently, an art fair. To the overworked assistant worrying if he’ll get paid on his return trip, to the helpless but un-phased girl stuck under a crate, Marquet’s ongoing narrative is the precise counterpoint to the often-glamorized world of art. Indeed, while our anti-hero sped through Georgia in a box truck, the “emerging artist” played with his noise band in the city. There are many players in the art world who truly live glamorously and make the art world the place we all loathe and love, but there are many others just trying to get out from under the wall that holds it together.
Hope you all enjoyed the fairs and please enjoy #58.