Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Analyzing critical phase of the American art scene

Anthony Haden-Guest was born in Paris and has spent his life in New York and London. He started his career as a journalist at the Telegraph, and went to New York in the late 1970s, where he became part of the ‘new journalism’ movement by Tom Wolfe.

A writer, reporter and cartoonist, His scholarly essays and articles have been published in most leading magazines in Britain and America, such as Sunday Telegraph, Vanity Fair, The New Yorker, Paris Review, Sunday Times, Esquire, GQ (UK), The Observer, Radar.

He was awarded in 1979 a New York Emmy for writing and narrating documentary, titled ‘The Affluent Immigrants’. His other popular books are ‘The Last Party: Studio 54, Disco and the Culture of the Night’ (William Morrow & Co,) ‘The Chronicles of Now’ (The Allworth Press), and ‘In The Mean Time’ (Frieght Volume).

His witty, gossipy and whirlwind tour of the contemporary art scene focuses on New York City with fascinating forays to Paris, California, and elsewhere. He takes a look at the defining decades, marked by a turbulent and extraordinary period in the American world of art, which witnessed immense creative intensity thanks to artists, like Julian Schnabel, Keith Haring, Jean-Michel Basquiat and Jeff Koons.

They managed, in their own ways, to switch over to popular culture from the rarefied realm of high art. It was also a phase when other promising streams and even whole movements, such as Graffiti, sprung into life and then almost suddenly disappeared. The astonishing boom times of the 1980s shaped the newly vigorous art market that dramatically transformed the role of collectors and dealers to impart them with power as well as and glamour. They often received or demanded as much attention as the artists they represented. And then came the bust…

In ‘True Colors’: The Real Life of the Art World’ (Publisher: Atlantic Monthly Press; Paperback: 352 pages; $27.50) Anthony Haden-Guest covers three critical decades of the vibrant American art scene.

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