Two days ago Allen Salkin wrote a piece for the New York Times titled Selling Himself and Prints Too, with the primary thesis that Pace Prints will build an additional location in Chelsea. I’m not sure why this should be so important that a two page article be written on the matter, particularly when what’s there reads like a giant advertisement for Pace Prints. According to the report, new comer Jacob Lewis convinced Pace Prints gallery owner Dick Solomon to make the move, and while Salkin doesn’t make explicit what rationale convinced Solomon, he does quote Lewis on the subject of the art market as saying, “for a couple of thousand bucks you can buy a print that may go up in value, rather than a purse or a pair of shoes that are just going to fall apart.”
I’ll believe that when I see it — I’m quite certain people buy the print AND the shoes — but that’s another post all together. This aside, the comment really serves to underscore the following: We should laud young Lewis as a genius who sold the “new” concept that prints not only have a market, but that that market is hip and fashionable. Lewis secures a solo show with artist Ryan McGinness for their inaugural opening as the epitome of all this, and the Times quotes Robin Cembalest at ArtNews on the subject who croons over the new director and the artist. “It’s a coup” she glows, and then runs down a list McGinness’s artist credentials.
McGinness isn’t a bad artist, but I don’t need to read about a show five months before its happened, especially since his mention serves only to re-enforce the idea of a trend setting collectors market. Probably the most annoying aspect of Selling Himself and Prints Too, reveals itself when Salkin presents the “opposing” view to the concept that print collecting is cool, managing to find some of the most inane commentary on the subject I’ve read. Says Helianthe Bourdeaux-Maurin, the associate director of the Williamsburg gallery Parker’s Box “Some people would rather spend $3,000 on a print by a big name than the same money on an emerging artist,” adding “Some people don't want to be edgy.”
Jesus. Clearly these people who aren’t collecting emerging artists are simply ball-less.