15 March 2014

XXXX (but it isn't sex)

Art World Places Its Bet

XXXX Keeps His Eyes on the Canvas

LONDON — Before a standing-room crowd at XXXX's  here last month, the bidding opened on an abstract painting filled with black scratching, “XXXX” scrawled across the top in bright yellow. The auctioneer announced that there were already 17 telephone and absentee buyers vying for the canvas, made three years ago by XXXX, who just turned 28.
While XXXX is little known outside clubby contemporary art circles, and he has his share of skeptics, his fans have called him “the 21st-century XXXX.” That night, after fierce competition, “Untitled (XXXX)” sold for $322,870, more than six times its high $49,000 estimate.
Now, he is represented by XXXX, one of the world’s most prestigious galleries, and when a choice canvas comes up at auction or through private sale, it can fetch more than $400,000.
The story of how a young artist like XXXX soared from struggling student to art star — courted by blue-chip dealers, inundated by curators requesting a work for a museum exhibition or biennial — reflects the way investing in contemporary art has become a gamble, like stocks and real estate. Collecting works by rising artists like XXXX, XXXX, XXXX, XXXX, is a competitive sport among a growing number of collectors betting on future stars.
“This is a market hungry for the players of the future,” XXXX, a Manhattan art adviser, said. “But almost any artist who gets that much attention so early on in his career is destined for failure. The glare is simply too bright for them to evolve.”
The XXXXs, who bought artists like XXXX, XXXX, XXXX, XXXX and XXXX early in their careers, met Mr. XXXX in a studio at XXXXCollege, where he had a residency. “We arrived at 9 a.m., and he looked disheveled, exhausted, like a homeless person,” Ms. XXXX recalled. “He’d stayed up 36 hours straight and had made seven or eight paintings, so he had something to show us. They blew us away. We ended up spending four hours talking to him.”
Not only did the couple buy all the work, but they invited Mr. XXXX to their home and their XXXX Foundation in XXXX. He stayed for six weeks and created a series of large-scale
“The way he works with paint is incredible,” Ms. XXXX went on. “Every painting is really beautiful.”
“The last time I saw that kind of energy was XXXX or XXXX XXXX, Ms. XXXX said. “It was so intense. I don’t even think he was on drugs.” (Mr.XXXX assured a reporter that he was “lucid and sober.”)Ms. XXXX isn’t surprised by the success that followed. “Everyone copies everyone else,” she said. “It’s in the air.” Mr. XXXX’s canvases also reflect what is fashionable in contemporary art: They are abstract, often incorporate a word in the composition and have a lively color palette.
“Seeing his work at the XXXX's gave collectors confidence,” said XXXX, a former curator at the XXXX in New York who is now a contemporary art expert at XXXX, the auction house.
“People now recognize his paintings,” Mr. XXXX added. “They’ve become a status symbol.”
In February, London auctions at XXXX’s, XXXX’s and XXXX all included Mr. XXXX’s work. While experts at the auction houses will not name names, several said that although serious collectors are buying the pieces, many buyers and sellers also are speculators, or “flippers,” hoping for a tidy profit. Compared with a prime painting by XXXX, which could cost upward of $40 million at auction, a few hundred thousand dollars for a painting by Mr. XXXX seems cheap.
But for all the praise that surrounds him, some people dismiss his work as trendy and derivative of artists like XXXX and, naturally, XXXX. After “XXXX: XXXX,” his first show in Los Angeles, which opened in January in the XXXX Room, XXXX, writing in The XXXX, called some paintings in the installation “anemic,” saying that “each large piece is less compelling than a single square inch of anything XXXX ever touched.” He added that the exhibition “defines our times, a kind of gilded age on steroids, when the past gets repackaged as farce.”

This is from an actual article which appeared this week and it isn't a commentary on the artist in question, but on the art market and all the people who make so much money on every facet of it.
One could say in fact that the Art Dealers of today are like bankers who trade with other bankers using 'ART' as a currency. (think Greece 2009)

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