The most recent art market boom was in autumn of 2007. With hitherto unseen levels of wealth and production, the snap back has delivered brutal reverberations to curatorial and artistic practices. Many discussions concerning value and content and relevance have been tossed about, so exactly what adjustments are being made and what impacts are being felt?
Historically, moments of economic recession have been extremely interesting times for meaningful art-making. Especially for emerging artists… it’s not as though the booming days were especially different for them. When you’re starting out, resources are always scarce, and you have to be inventive.
In boom times, more and more, the artist’s position shifts to become one of responding to content demands and fulfilling them to schedule (art fairs!), instead of pursuing aesthetic aims within a practice that sets its own terms. However, there is a strong contingent of artists of all persuasions and levels of market success who are embracing the recession.
While some artists produce art that suits the voracious appetite of the market for consistently high turnover of “signature” works, many don’t. For the latter group, one gets the feeling that these last years of increased global demand from fairs and biennials have distracted them from the reasons why they set out to make art in the first place.
So, how do successful (a term to be debated another time) artists negotiate their positions as “workers” vis-a-vis the market? Discuss amongst yourselves…