Kenny Schachter Is Not Conflicted … He’ll Say Anything: Kenny Schachter likes to tweak everyone in the art world, including himself. This week, he turns his pen from fellow dealers to the New York Times’s UK art market reporter, Scott Reyburn, who has often been critical of market participants like Schachter (and others) who write about the art market claiming their observations cannot be trusted because of their potential conflicts of interest. This all came into play at charity quiz event where Schachter was playing:
- Another table was hosted by art-world PR firm Pelham Communications, which was also handling communications duties for the quiz—why that was necessary is anyone’s guess. They even solicited me to write on the affair afterwards (successfully, it would seem). Scott Reyburn, the New York Times market reporter, was on their team—hmm, no conflict there.
Schachter wasn’t done there. He added this little victory dance:
- In any case, we won! Underlying the game was a strong sense of camaraderie, which isn’t always so much in evidence elsewhere in the art world, like New York. Though when I received an email that Jerry Saltz won the Pulitzer during the evening and told the Times‘s Reyburn, he replied: “What for, his Instagram?” …
Theaster Gates Now Represented by Richard Gray Gallery: At Frieze New York, Richard Gray Gallery will have a solo presentation of Theaster Gates’s work. The gallery, which has previously collaborated with Gates with solos show in 2016, now represents the artist:
- Theaster Gates’ expansive practice is deeply engaged in material and cultural preservation, especially as it relates to historical and contemporary power dynamics. From his work reactivating archives, such as those of the magazines Jetand Ebony, to recovering and repurposing buildings on Chicago’s South Side, Gates also works in ceramics, painting, sculpture, installation, music, and performance.
The Hippest Hottest New Gallery? Bergdorf’s! Instagram has become a hotbed of art communication. The platform has broken down some of the barriers for artists who are not part of the gallery system to build audiences and markets. Now Bergdorf Goodman is becoming a clever outlet for artists like Donald Robertson and Ashley Longshore. The New York Times’s Styles team spent some time with Longshore recently including an opening at Bergdorf’s, “Her patrons are an odd assortment of actors, well-heeled matrons, hedge-fund managers and scores of more modest believers in Ms. Longshore’s gospel.”:
- Ms. Longshore’s long workdays and social-media presence (she sells 35 to 40 percent of her work on Instagram, she said) have led her to associations with a wide range of brands including Chloé, Anthropologie, Shiseido and Mark Cross.[…] Ms. Longshore has deliberately bypassed the gallery circuit. “I’m not just an artist, I’m an entrepreneur,” she said. “I want to represent myself. I want to keep 100 percent of my profit margin.”
- Scores of artist-luxury brand collaborations — Jeff Koons and Louis Vuitton, Versace and Andy Warhol — have coursed through the marketplace. Art and retail collaborations date back at least to the middle of the 20th century, said Bonnie Clearwater, the director and chief curator of the NSU Museum of Art in Fort Lauderdale, Fla, noting that in the 1940s Mark Rothko displayed his canvases at Macy’s. Bergdorf entered the fray more recently. Last year, at its inaugural exhibitions, the store sold some work priced in the mid-five figures. “I found it interesting that we could sell art at that price point,” said Andrew Mandell, the vice president and divisional merchandise manager of the store’s home division. …
IBM Pitches Blockchain Technology for Diamonds and Jewelry: With simultaneous stories in Fortune and on Bloomberg today, IBM says it has been working on a proof-of-concept for the use of block chain technology to track diamonds and jewelry. Unfortunately, the heavily PR-ed launch sounds more like vaporware than a viable product that might have meaningful applications beyond the massive consulting firm’s marketing department:
- The TrustChain Initiative, which will run on IBM’s technology, includes precious-metals refiner Asahi Refining, U.S. jewelry retailer Helzberg Diamonds, precious-metals supplier LeachGarner, jewelry-maker the Richline Group and verification service UL. Other industry players may join the effort as well, said Jason Kelley, general manager for blockchain services at IBM. Products being tracked through the program should be available to consumers shopping for jewelry by year-end, according to a joint statement Thursday.