Wednesday, August 1, 2012

‘True Colors’: The Real Life of the Art World’

‘True Colors’: The Real Life of the Art World’ is Anthony Haden-Guest's witty, gossipy and whirlwind tour of the New York City’s contemporary art scene. This sometimes scathing, sometimes hilarious book is an honest and forthcoming portrayal of the fabulous, fashionable and often perplexing New York art world in particular deals with the important time in history when artists and their work came fully under the glare of the mainstream media and gradually turned pop cultural figures.

So you have Andy, Jean-Michel, Leo, and Julian as only eccentric art critic Anthony Haden-Guest can vivaciously and peculiarly present them. Revealing interesting anecdotes and gossip, he offers a perspective of how the art world actually works - its undercurrents, inside developments, politics, and how an artist survives in it or not. Witty and at the same time wry, it comes across as a highly absorbing narrative the art world, its curious ways and its trajectory. This uncanny look into art and art practitioners is quite revealing apart from studying at the library or museum.

Journalist, writer and editor George Plimpton rightly describes it as a knowledgeable, a qualified guide and highly personal voyage through the turbulence of the art world from 1973 onwards.

Seemingly everyone, directly or indirectly involved with it surfaces in Anthony Haden-Guest's account of the art scene, when vested interests apparently supplanted esthetic concerns.  He takes us through a complex art landscape, which acquired a sort of heated, garish tinge, like the set for a popular game show.

The 'real life' of the book’s subtitle refers to the artists, their ambitions, eccentric habits, and curious relationships formed with critics, dealers and collectors, and, obviously their own art. For example, the author at one point mentions: “Artist, like everybody else, are subject to political and economic forces. They tend to be at least as ambitious as politicians. They endure rejection and failure. They survive success. The final product is the art that ends up in the gallery, a museum, a public space, in the hands of a private owner, or only as a documented memory.”

No comments:

Post a Comment