I can’t tell whether I should be excited or scared that Morley Safer will be revisiting the contemporary art world, 20 years after his 60 Minutes segment lampooning it. This time, he’ll attempt to explain the art market, which seems like a more promising subject than the head-scratching, “it’s not art!”-exclaiming philistinism of the original.
The teaser for the segment, which debuts Sunday at 7, shows footage of former dealer-turned-director of the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art Jeffrey Deitch. Deitch notes that in the original segment, Safer had picked out one of Jeff Koons’s works from the Equilibrium series as being particularly awful, after it sold for $250,000; today, Deitch notes, Koons’s auction record is $25 million. Safer looks sheepish.
On Deitch, I’ll say this: I’m pleased 60 Minutes is asking him about the market, rather than about the art. Also, where are all the women? The preview contains quotes from Jeffrey Deitch, Larry Gagosian and Tim Blum, placing the current count of female voices at zero. That’s not a representative slice of the art world, even among blue-chip dealers; why not ADAA President Lucy Mitchell-Innes, Andrea Rosen, or Paula Cooper? Here’s hoping the full report is a bit more even.