Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Sarkozy initiative

I thought this article was both interesting and positive for the art world in France. Certain people will kill me for giving kudos to Sarkozy, but it's a smart move by his government to announce this new plan just a few weeks before the FIAC Art Fair (www.fiacparis.com) that opens on the 18th of this month. A fair amount of tourists flock to Paris each year for their cultural consumption, but they are not going to the contemporary galleries. Some museums are trying to expand their contemporary exhibitions, and the Palais de Tokyo is a great space, but the majority of tourists and I think locals, head to the Louvre, the Musee D'Orsay, the Rodin Museum and the Picasso Museum. They are lovely places and I don't blame them- but it would be a bonus for Paris especially, to have a more developed and exciting contemporary art scene. If there was more of an incentive to buy here, you might see more inspiration on the part of museums and galleries to show artists beyond the normal roster of French “art stars” and/or their secondary market works of artists who have a main gallery elsewhere. Perhaps international art magazines might start to pay more attention to what’s going on here. There is some great talent but without an expansion on some level, the contemporary French art scene will continue to be provincial.
On a side note, I hope that Sarkozy will also be aware that in order for sales to rise, the art has to be good and that most of the interesting and talked about artists right now working in France, were not born here. I hope he remembers that diversity is essential for market expansion and for a smart, critically relevant art.

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