And that’s not just me saying: figures prove it.
At least we’re good at one thing: attracting tourists. The Louvre, Centre Pompidou and Musée d’Orsay are in the top 10 of the “Top 100 Art Museum Attendance” 2012 list. Let’s face it though, as far as the Louvre is concerned, I wouldn’t say that its appeal is due to its brilliant programme of temporary exhibitions. Nope. Visitors go there just like they go to the Eiffel tower or Montmartre. And they’re of course only interested in the Mona Lisa. SHAME, really. For I’m 100% sure that the portrait (a mere commission by the way) would have remained pretty obscure if it had not been stolen in the 1910s).
The April edition of the Art Newspapers (Art Market section, p.15) gives us an exhaustive survey of what was über cool to see last year. Yet again, the magazine has a rather not-so-idyllic analysis of those impressive figures: notably the fact that it’s risky to have some masterpieces transported all around the world (conservation issues, especially when you deal with Old Masters). The Louvre will never EVER again lend its Mona Lisa, as the wooden canvas came back from Japan with cracks on its surface. Even Dubaï will not be allowed to get it, despite all the money promised by rich Middle East oil moguls (the Mona Lisa is not a bloody whore after all).
I’m still rather surprised to realise that museums work very well during financial crisis. Tickets cost a lot. I still haven’t found a job, and I must admit that buying tickets or membership cards is a serious investment. People go to museums because they’ve read good reviews, because it’s THE must-see exhibition, because the-weather-is-so-bad-we’d-better-stay-indoors, because I-want-to-be-able-to-talk-about-the-show-with-my-friends-over-a-cappuccino-in-a-trendy-café-in-Stoke-Newington…
Sounds like I’m complaining. I should stop thinking of the why’s.
So yeah, good news for the Art market in general: business seems to be flourishing. Some commercial art galleries (not the large ones) were hit badly a few years ago, but overall, the Art world is recovering. TEFAF went fine apparently. Auctions? Someone bought recently for more than 30 times its estimate an ugly painting owned by Adolf Hitler (an anonymous Austrian bidder, surely for its historical value, right?… Or some dodgy memorabilia).
The Art world is doing very well… without me. *SIGH*