The Charles Saatchi publicity tour continues. With the skill of a true media master, Saatchi continues to give each outlet some different but still choice material. Even in an interview where he’s clearly been allowed to look at and emend the final copy, he gets in some good lines with great timing which reminds us that he remains a brilliant copywriter. Here’s the Telegraph‘s interview which suggests it is a shame that he won’t actually appear in his upcoming BBC reality show:
Do artists deserve to get as rich as Damien Hirst, who I read is worth £100 million?
Only if you think of art as entertainment, in which case his pay scale sits alongside Tiger Woods, Harrison Ford, Roger Federer, Johnny Depp, Madonna and the other superstars.
If you prefer to think of art as something more spiritual and disapprove, can we agree that there is something very spiritual about Roger Federer’s backhand?
Note: Art only flourished in the Renaissance because it was subsidised by the rich and the Church. Even sacred art relied on patronage and successful artists who were in demand became wealthy. Perhaps even in those days people were more fascinated by how much art fetched, than the art itself.
You are meant to be tyrannical about installing the art in your exhibitions, and don’t let artists interfere. Why?
There are very few people who know how to install art. David Sylvester was a master and we talked of little else except how inept most artists are at showing their work to best advantage. Sadly, nearly all professional curators are caught short in this deptartment.
I may not be much good at most things, but if I didn’t have the pleasure of planning and installing shows, and doing it better than anyone else, I would have stopped buying art many years ago.
Apologies if that sounds a shade immodest, but there it is.
Which newspapers do you read?
All of them. Well, not the Daily Sport, and not all of them very thoroughly, but I enjoy the different characters of each of our newspapers, by far the most robust in the world, and the varied slant each gives to its reporting. I marvel at their expertise at winkling out proper news, despite the drastically reduced budgets nowadays for investigative long-term story building.
I was once in the New York Hamptons mansion of a publishing tycoon and it was one of those dinner parties where the host guides the conversation so that the table as a whole has to discuss a topic. As the visitor from Britain, I was asked to express my views on the US press, which amounted to an unrestrained mad-dog attack on The New York Times, its pomposity and overweening self-satisfaction, its complacency built over years of being a lofty monopoly, easily illustrated by its arrogance in asking readers to “now turn to page B21” or wherever, to continue reading most of their stories.
My fellow guests looked at me curiously, even pityingly. They turned out to be the editor, news editor, features editor and arts editor of The New York Times, and it didn’t take them long to show me how robust the US press can be.
When the Sensation/Giuliani controversy became a leading New York news story, I got given the steel-toe-cap kicking I obviously had coming.
Charles Saatchi: Secret Life of a Collector Laid Bare (Telegraph)