Sunday, August 16, 2015

Chelsea art scene

This is an extension to the previous MoMA post. When I was in New York I wandered around the Chelsea gallery precinct. I liked the High Line. The galleries on the other hand were pretty unwelcoming. I mean, the doors themselves were often smoked glass or frosted white with subtly stenciled names. The gallery assistants, aptly named gallerinas, were too often po-faced and barely acknowledging of your entry into their hallowed spaces (most will be trust-fund kids cutting their teeth in the glamorous world of art). The art itself was mostly tedious and predictable... even the 'big names' were uninspired. But there were the occasional surprises and delights.

I'm really only mentioning this because it was another eye-opener to the misery that awaits one who is artistically 'successful' (big money, big openings) in one distinct part of the New York art scene. I decided not to attend an Ai Weiwei opening to save me from the cloying atmosphere of people competing for attention. I felt deeply for Mike Kelley who was obviously not in a good place when he moved to Gagosian Gallery. I'm sure the art scene contributed to his declining mental health. I felt depressed just visiting.

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