Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Private Collectors in a Public Space - Old News?

A debate has swirled around a new show opening at the New Museum in NYC.

From the article, NY Times:

One day in the mid-1980s, Dakis Joannou, a Greek Cypriot industrialist, was exploring the art galleries of the East Village in Manhattan when he came upon a basketball suspended in a tank of liquid. Captivated, he invested $2,700 in “One Ball Total Equilibrium Tank” by a little-known artist named Jeff Koons. It was, he said, as if a whole new world had opened up to him.

Twenty-five years — and 40 Koonses — later, Mr. Joannou is considered one of the most important contemporary art collectors in the world. And the New Museum of Contemporary Art in Manhattan is preparing to showcase his vast collection in a three-story exhibition, with Mr. Koons, now an art superstar, as the guest curator.

My Opinion: It seems like no one in the contemporary art world trusts anyone's judgment. I will have to admit I am still quite naive to how this realm of the world functions. I am learning, but optimistic.
I for one, have followed Jeff Koons and his work. I love it, it is fresh and provocative. It is fun and joyful. I think it would be any public space's dream to be able to have the it be filled with his art and his perspective. I think the critiques are valid and needed, but the harshness and narrowness are unnecessary. The dissent seems more like jealousy than constructive criticism.
The majority of the world's art is owned by someone or institution other than a public gallery. It is ludicrous and harmful to our culture if we would limit such items from being shown. I think the real debate should lie in the corporatization of art. Maybe, Bank of America should not be allowed to curate its own shows for public spaces? It is a thin line the museums are walking, but I trust their judgment. The New museum doesn't seem like there are trying to hide anything from us and who wants a larger-than-life vibrant pink dog to be hid from the public:)

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