Yesterday, Mother Jones posted their list of 2013’s biggest hate reads. It included no art coverage, so we knew what had to be done.
A quick disclaimer: there were plenty of pieces that drove us crazy this year, but hate reads are more about the spirit of cluelessness. (Think 300 Sandwiches, or Kids-These-Days rants). We read plenty of undeserved celebrity praise, art-market takedowns, and exposes on mismanagement at El Museo del Barrio, the Folk Art Museum, the New York Public Library, and Cooper Union. But those are serious problems, and they deserve another post.
Here are are the art world’s hate reads of 2013:
The New York Times was on it again, from this year’s Millennials coverage, to assigning their war and Wall Street reporter Graham Bowley to cover the art market. This piece on the gender disparity in art collecting takes another shot in the dark; Judith H. Dobrzynski guessed that, while it’s tempting to blame the high proportion of big-time male collectors on the distribution of wealth, men make the big purchases, loudly, because of the “hunting instinct.”
Jeff Koons Is The Most Successful American Artist Since Warhol. So What’s the World Got Against Him?
Good question; probably has something to do with the coverage. New York Magazine’s colossal Jeff Koons profile wasn’t a bad piece, and we don’t hate Jeff Koons. We just didn’t really care to wonder about why Koons can’t be rich and loved by all, especially when asked a thousand times.
Sorry, Macaulay. We still love you, but putting on some crazy wigs in a Soho loft does not an artist make.
Georg Baselitz sent the Internet into an uproar when he said women don’t paint well. The whole piece cemented his legacy as a salty old bastard.
It’s a worldwide phenomenon! People have turned the camera on themselves, sparking, as Jonathan Jones put it, “a revolution against the camera’s tyranny.” This year saw a thousand quotes of that ilk, and a lot of them sound like monkey farter.
New York Magazine call out sexism, but masks that sentiment by saying MoMA was “being weird.”
Isn’t That Rich? (A lifestyle column from the New York Observer)
The Observer knows it’s running hate reads. Why else start a column called “Isn’t That Rich?” Steeped in a very abstract concept of reality, filled with chauffeur-nannies, the series does have its redeeming moments. In “Rise of the Art Insta-Collectors,” Kirschenbaum laments that “ art collecting has turned into a blood sport,” because too many collectors are motivated only by money.
Marina Abramovic uses the think-piece format to fundraise her Kickstarter campaign.
The premise was the Venice Biennale, but Carol Vogel’s Massimiliano Gioni profile mostly confirms that, yes, one truly can have it all.
No, it’s not art-related, but this may have been the art world’s biggest hate read ever. It’s a long, detailed account of what wreckage follows when you hire Lindsay Lohan. Page one ends with Paul Schrader’s quote “I think this is going to work”—and then there are ten more pages after that. But the piece is the best of all because it transcends hate-read; the profile is so thorough and humanizing that it’s hard to walk away hating anybody.
“I probably use more paint than anyone in the history of art,” says Artist Holton Rower, proudly. “50 gallons!” he tells us, over and over. “You know how you buy a gallon of milk? Fifty of those.” Did Rower mention how much paint it takes to make his work?