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Seven Days in the Art World

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 4, 2012

    7 Days in the Art World gives an inside look on the life of the

    7 Days in the Art World gives an inside look on the life of the artist. It goes through the main 7 things most gallery artists go through in their career. The part I enjoyed most was learning the rule of the artists’ reputation. The artists’ reputation is held in the buyers of the artists’ work. A major message that was apparent was how much effort and patience it takes to become a great and popular artist. I also liked how the author did lots of studying of this topic she went to the Venice Biennale, spends time interviewing different types of artists and also watches the most incredible artists at work. The only thing I really disliked was the length of the book; I would have loved to continue reading on the topic because I too am an inspiring artist who would love to go into this field. I would definitely recommend this book to future artists; it’s a great eye opener on what the art world looks like. People should read this book in order to get a sneak peak at what it takes to become a gallery artist. It gives great information on what each realm of the life is like. It will inspire even more success.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 22, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    This is an anthropological study of a murky subculture given to

    This is an anthropological study of a murky subculture given to bizarre rituals, riven by tribal conflict and prone to madness...the world of contemporary art. Sarah Thornton, our intrepid guide, comes at this woolly subject from different angles -- seven of them, to be precise, each set in a different city -- shining a light on the major clans and customs. The result is a surprisingly engaging account of how the frothiest end of the art market works (or doesn't), written in a way that a non-insider can understand.

    Thornton spends a day inside the New York branch of Christie's, one of the three major auction houses able to sell tens of millions of dollars worth of art in a single evening to the extraordinarily rich; a crit session at CalArts, where future artists learn how to disengage their thinking processes from the real world; opening day of the Venice Biennale, the art-themed amusement park for the very wealthy; and four other close encounters with the contemporary art scene. Her you-are-there approach is both vivid and clear. When we're not in the thick of things, she's telling us about conversations she's had with the market's movers and shakers that help explain what's going on. This is a reality show begging to be made: the camera follows Our Heroine as she scrambles through superstar pop-artist Takashi Murakami's studios, then cuts away to a talking-head interview with a guy who happens to be a top dealer or the publisher of the most influential art magazine in America, who explains it all for you.

    Owing to the incestuous nature of their world, the huge number of characters all know each other, attend the same parties, used to work in each others' galleries or newspapers, sometimes are (or were) married to each other, and speak the same obscure dialect of English. Thornton (a sometime reporter for The Economist) does a good job differentiating the major players enough so that we can remember who they are when they pop up here and there. This crowd of characters is another reason this book really wants to be made into a reality show: instead of hillbillies with big beards or New Jersey midgets with precancerous tans, Seven Days gives us a magazine publisher whose suits all come in primary colors, an art professor who teaches by not saying anything, megarich collectors, Turner Prize finalists who don't know whether they really want to win, and any number of other kinds of exotic fauna.

    The fifth star is missing because Thornton's prism has only seven sides. While it's gratifying to spend time in Murakami's bizarre world, he's hardly representative of the non-celebrity working artist. Marquee-named dealers flit about the edges of these vignettes, but we never see what they do on a day-to-day basis, nor do we learn what life is like for the other 95% of gallerists and dealers. My own particular area of interest -- art crime -- never gets mentioned; surely Thornton could've found a detective or insurance investigator to shadow for a day?

    Seven Days in the Art World is a cook's tour of the contemporary art scene's 1%, the part that generates headline nine-figure sales, receptions full of the glitterati, and incomprehensible statement art be coming soon to a museum near you. Don't expect to learn much about the workaday market and the not-famous people in it. Look at it as true-life science fiction -- a visit to a world full of alien creatures populating a parallel Earth on the opposite side of the Sun.

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    Posted June 29, 2010

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    Posted January 10, 2009

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    Posted June 8, 2009

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    Posted August 24, 2011

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