Why Does this Ukrainian Strong Man Love Art So Much?
This is Victor Pinchuk looking sophisticated in a James Hill photograph taken for the New York Times. The picture comes from Landon Thomas Jr.’s profile of Pinchuk that runs in today’s business section. The art world tends to view the Oligarchs as simply rich men with money to spend on art. But Thomas shows how their new-found love of art is part of a larger campaign and strategy that seeks not only legitimacy for themselves and their fortunes but also for their own country’s cultural status in the globalized world. You can see in this one quote how the international art world is stand-in for global culture and significant enough to stand on an equal footing with Ukrainian political support and US backing:
It is in many ways a coming-out party, with each guest representing a swatch of the gaudy tapestry of legitimacy that Mr. Pinchuk so badly craves. The presence of Ambassador Taylor brings the implicit approval of the United States; the Ukrainian and Georgian presidents attest to his local clout; and the mere presence of Mr. Hirst and Mr. Jopling underscores his weight in the world of modern art.
Can the New Rich Buy Respect? One Ukrainian Oligarch Is Trying (The New York Times)