The hoopla surrounding Art Basel is six months behind us now, which is why it’s as good a time as any to step back and assess our current art scene. We’re in the midst of a new phenomenon going on in our own back yard. Art as a new commodity: a cultural spectacle of entertainment.
Yet, under the surface, one can detect signs of discontent and frustration: Our real estate boom (now doomed and caused to some extent by Art Basel) drove up prices, changed the urban landscape and curbed our buying power. Believe it or not, life is harder now for many artists and alternative spaces. More people are realizing that between all the planning and executing, plus the post-Basel syndrome that ensues, the fairs drain the local scene’s energy from November to January. What’s left?
Paradoxically, because of the fair phenomena and the relative success they’ve enjoyed, artists have gotten comfortable and reclusive (waiting for their shows to happen all over again). What’s worse, many see themselves as sort of heroes who can operate —simultaneously — inside and outside the market environment.... (more here).