POST BY PADDY JOHNSON
Over the weekend, Gawker’s Kelsey Keith pissed off a few readers with her latest Art Schooled column speculating on who will become the next Jeffrey Deitch. There’s been some minor theorizing of this ilk already from Alexandra Peers over at NYMagazine, which probably prompted Gawker’s post; Peers has the advantage of getting the details right. Setting aside the obvious — no one can replace Deitch, nor is it necessary to try — Gawker’s post cites Gavin Brown, James Fuentes, Jeanne Greenberg Rohatyn, and Javier Peres as a possible replacements, offering up a poor set of rationales for each. There are more flaws and inaccuracies than is worth getting into in this post, but on the subject of the quality of picks themselves: James Fuentes is the antithesis to Deitch, not his replacement; as far as I know, Javier Peres had shut down his small Lower East Side collaborative space with Terence Koh; aside from Jeanne Greenberg Rohatyn’s new role in the Bravo reality series Work of Art: The Next Great Artist, she seems completely unsuited for the list. Past all this, the post makes the claim that Deitch made “old fogies collectible (Basquiat, Haring, Francesco Clemente),” which is simply not true. All of these artists had a well-established market before Deitch Projects ever came along.
I applaud Gawker for attempting to provide at least some art coverage, but its media mogul owner Nick Denton has to put a few more resources into the column for it to work. The blog receives close to 1.5 million readers daily — with a readership like that, the publication has an obligation to get a few more facts and details right.