Christina Rees used to work as an editor in these hallowed cubicles. Then she left us and went and opened an art gallery called Road Agent. But the words — just when she thought she was out, they pulled her back in. Christina has written a polemic for the statewide arts site Glasstire. The piece is generating some talk among gallerists and collectors in town. To give you an idea why:
I attended the DMA’s annual Art Ball a couple of weeks ago. It’s a massive, swish fundraising auction and dinner. It was packed with the richest people in Dallas. Far, far more money was spent on non-art auction items. Hundreds of thousands of dollars more. Vacations, jewelry, spa packages, home dÃ©cor. Getting people to bid on the donated artwork was – just ask the visiting auctioneer, Sotheby’s’ Oliver Barker – like squeezing a dry sponge. There were only a few gallerists there, and next to no artists, which was a blessing. I left feeling like I’d boxed twelve harrowing rounds with Mike Tyson and lost both ears in the process. It was demeaning, exhausting, and I’m afraid a real indicator of how so many of the wealthy want to spend their money in this recession. Strings of pearls and weekends in Cabo. It was so fucking weird to be reminded of this reality at the museum.
I’m told some gallerists in town are concerned that Christina’s piece will be seen as representing a larger attidude in Dallas about wealthy collectors — and there are some gallerists here who certainly don’t share Christina’s take.
Here’s my thing: I like her anger. As a cultural critic, she uses it to good effect. To me, it reads as raw and honest. The recession has hit her business, and she’s hitting back. But as a gallerist, she hasn’t done herself any favors. That anger will not serve her well. Hitting your customers doesn’t usually drive up sales.
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