Originally posted on Fayes T. Kantawala:
I tend to follow Art World news like it’s The Bold and the Beautiful. I get off on the gossip and intrigue, on the meteoric rise and spectacular crash of artists as they make their way through galleries and art fairs, only to be spat out like used Kleenex. It’s a savage world, built on delicacies and theories and aloof elitism. I stepped briefly into it while living in New York, the art world of art worlds made famous in every movie ever (Great Expectations has a particularly unrealistic take on it) and it took me about five minutes to figure out that, much like in Pakistan, the “global art world” consists of some 50 people, all of whom know one another and none of whom are likely to invite you to a party should you nudge them.
This week my news feeds were set aflame with the announcement that the most overrated artist of the world, that pallbearer of bad taste, that emperor with no clothes, the expensive Damien Hirst, has professionally divorced Larry Gagosian, owner of the eponymous mega-gallery. If you know nothing about the art world, know this: Larry Gagosian is it. If the art world was Star Wars, he’d be Darth Vader but with more money and a better wardrobe. He is the protege of Leo Castelli, the guy who discovered Andy Warhol. There are Gagosian galleries in almost every major world capital. They’re less galleries and more museums – in their scope, resources and operational budget.