Alan Riding in the New York Times today echoes my own thoughts on a recent trip to Paris:
"The French art scene has lost its buzz. The culture of the past looks safe, with government-owned museums, opera houses and theaters all well attended. But today’s creators, from visual artists to writers, often seem out of touch with society. In a country gripped by uncertainty about its identity, in a campaign dominated by the word change, they have little to say.
One explanation may be that, like many people in France, artists are obsessed with protecting their privileges, which they consider a birthright. At the same time, the culture ministry, which spends a quarter of its budget on itself, guards its power, viewing greater private-sector involvement as a threat to its independence and an invitation to dumbing down.
Yet when the French lament the morose state of contemporary art here, they instinctively blame the government, as if artists and galleries share no responsibility."
And Jerry in the Village Voice reminds us:
"Despite all appearances to the contrary, only about one-percent-of-one-percent of all artists make money from or are lauded for their work—possibly much less."
Also out this week: The New Yorker's Style issue, which has several articles on the art world. When did art stop being culture?
All this on a day when I received yet another rejection, this time from Aljira, for the Emerge program. This time, I was not even asked for an interview.