John Miller, David Levi Strauss and Carrie Mae Weems on ‘How to Fix the Art World’
December 7, 2016
BFA Fine Arts faculty member John Miller, MFA Art Writing Chair David Levi Strauss and MFA Art Practice faculty member Carrie Mae Weems all contributed essays to "How to Fix the Art World," the cover feature for the winter 2017 ARTnews. Read excerpts below:
Miller: “The biggest problem, in my opinion, is the tendency toward monopolization. In the last several years just three or four big galleries have come to dominate the art market, squeezing out the small and mid-level galleries. This is fundamentally undemocratic, and it reflects the larger, global question of increasing income inequality. The economic reasons for this are complex, but one exacerbating factor is internet technology…” (continue reading)
Strauss: “The main thing that’s wrong with the art world today is that too many people involved now think that art is like everything else, and the truth is that it’s not.
The shift started a long time ago, with the corporatization of the museums and the accompanying imperative for growth at any cost, causing museums to treat art as entertainment or therapy. Then people from the financial sector figured out how to monetize art and turn the art market into a real trading market, wherein art holdings could be leveraged for greater profit. This brought in a different kind of player…” (continue reading)
Weems: “The first question is: How is progress to be defined and measured, by what means and against what? It has never been enough for me to measure myself against myself. My sense of achievement is based on the overall forward movement of my people. By progress I mean a decided shift in one’s relationship to the means of production, coupled with the way one is perceived and treated by the larger society. Trapped by historical circumstance, our work—like our people—is systematically undervalued. This is made evident in the marketplace, where the work of blacks and women artists sells for substantially less than the work of white men…” (continue reading)