“You have to be careful!!! “ she grabs my hand and hisses in my ear “he is a very dangerous guy…” I have to look away and hide a laugh at this, she seems so earnest in warning me, woman to woman, how Stefan Simchowitz can take off my art panties with just a glance, make me loose my artginity, ruinart me forever...
This movie was long under way when I entered the picture; a satanic entrepreneur responsible for the rise (and fall) of many a young artist, secretely adored, publicly shunned. A monster… a Collzilla only your gallerist in shining art_mor can protect you from...
Maybe it is my belief in the gifted--asshole scala (the more intelligent, talented, gifted you are the more of an asshole you are allowed/perceived to be) Maybe I will change my mind, but it is alarming, as it is clear to me for a while now...
I like the guy. A true eccentric, a bon viveur with good taste, original in his interest and knowledge of art. More importantly he delivers 0 bullshit when he speaks, seems completely at ease in his (awesome) clothes, polite, friendly.
Surely in the pantheon of hypocrisy and stupidity that is the art scene; where every interaction rates between the “ha ... this is weird” to the “HELP! I have been abducted by aliens!” Simchowitz seems the least of my problems.
LEt's see... There is the woman who asked me if it is true I have to write things down in my work, because I have a bad memory (my first urban legend) # Her friend who said she soooo wants to buy a work of mine, but not this one, its got numbers, don’t I do the letters any more. # The collector who asked me if the collage element in the work she bought is a penis or not. (Judy said it was a penis!)
The collector who bombards me with board-, commitee- and museum names in what I can only take as a threatening tone # the collector who sais I HAVE NEVER SOLD A PIECE (of a young artist) IN MY LIFE then six months later SELLS 2 OF THEM (Me: Dude what happened, you said you never... Answer: This is a common thing, money do'nt grow on trees you know) #the gallerist who asks to do a solo show with him, only to not mention it ever again (this happens A LOT; beware newbies) # The gallerist who asks for a couple of extra works to sell to collectors from my home country, which I soon discovered ended up in California within a week (yeah, the friend of the son in law of her sister’s cousin was Greek!) # the gallerist who can’t interact socially to save his life #the gallerist who sleeps around # the gallerist who turns her back to you midsentence, when the collector on your side turns to somebody else # The gallerina that keeps her back to you throughout the evening because you are a nobody. Because you are a nobody. # The “bad boy” artists, who paint the same freaking painting for years on end. (Who’s bad?)
“Why change? You have been so successful in Berlin.”
I have to face questions about my move constantly, but I was at a loss for words at this. Firstly, that somebody would link success to a place and not to my person. And, secondly that somebody would consider change as a risk and not a prerequisite in the creative field.
“Your work is changing!” a collector told me, I believe in a half accusatory tone. I found out later he asked my gallerist if he has some of the “old stuff”.
It is a fear maybe even bigger than auctions for young artists. How do I introduce a change in my work, without causing wrinkles in the market. A situation caused and fed by above-mentioned stupidity and hypocrisy. Also a situation your gallerist will be of zero help with.
We had a rather loud fight in a taxi on Collins avenue with a couple of artists friends about what you can and cannot say to collectors. You can tell them only what they want to hear (??), you cannot really say what is on your mind.
I disagree. Here is what I would say over a good scotch.
-There are two ways to make a work work; because you know what you are doing. And, because you have no idea what you are doing.
-Look for the “new” works, the ones that break new ground, begin a new cycle.
-You can also look for the “accomplished” works, the technically better ones, done usually later on in a cycle.
-Nothing wrong with wanting to match a painting to your couch.
-Every time I see you with an art consultant I innerly roll my eyes.
-There more stuff I have to put in a painting, the more I have failed.
-I know for some inexplicable reason you want to buy the same painting your girlfriend has, or the same one your mate has made a profit out of in an auction. But…seriously…fuck off.