Through Shurooq Amin’s Art Cafe- Group on Facebook which is a popular ( 664 members !) space for artlovers in Kuwait we get the link to this interesting video ( MUST SEE) where speakers Dr. Farhad Farjam ( Collector and Patron, The Farjam Collection, Dubai ), Dana Farouki ( Collector and Patron, Dubai and New York), Abdullah Al Turki (Creative Director of Edge of Arabia, London/Riyadh) and a moderator Payam Sharifi (Artist and Essayist, Co-Founder of Slavs and Tatars, Moscow) in the occasion of Art Basel | Conversations are discussing about the Middle Eastern Art Scene and the ways of development and promotion of the artist and the art strategy.
I’ve just noticed one point that definetely cannot pass unobserved :
( 37 min, 48sec.) What does it means success in major parametres? Is selling . … At the end of the day what artist wants ? He wants to be at the museum, at the important collection and to make money.
So, at the beginning the conversation has started with the discussion about importance to educate the audience about the art and get new collectors to be involved ( that is absolutely correct) and then it finished with so banal conclusion about selling is the parameter of success for artist ? The huge contradiction stays exactly in discussion itself from one side we have the neccessary to educate the audience from another side the audience is already educated and has choosen who is the best to buy. Really, I am wondering what would Mr. Duveen answered to this affermation after he spent more than 20 years of his life and all his money to let the world know about the Impressionists.
It is complicated to explain but selling success especially in a short time it means only commercial success of the “artistic” activity it doesn`t become automatically ( it would be wonderful) that it is the Art and it is a Great Art to be defined in this way even after, let`s say, 50 years.
Should we write the long list of the artist’s names who were selling very well by the galleries which “educated” their clients that this piece is very important that’s why it costs hundreds of thousands dollars and now nobody remember anymore the name of those artists and we are speaking about 90’s, Soho that is not so far from 2011 and can be repeated as well .
What about if we write the long list of the artist’s names that we’re not selling well at all but now they are the biggest name in the Art History. Did Impressionists got their success so fast ? Were they selling well ? Did Van Gogh really want to be at the museum and in important collections ? Did Modigliani sale his works to art dealer when he need money ? But these are all europeans name, for the Middle East we have another great example of Mahmoud Said ‘s record as the most expensive Middle Eastern artowrk ever sold just to remember well that he didn’t have so huge success in a short time, to say more, his artworks were bought by Europeans and not by Egyptians at that time.