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Never has contemporary art been so popular as it is now; never has its audience been so big. In the rapidly changing and vastly expanding art world one thing hasn’t changed, however: it is the artist that remains at the center of artistic universe. In fascinating and personal interviews seventeen outstanding contemporary artists reflect on what does it mean to be an artist today. By doing so, they provide a great material to analyze the most urgent questions of the current art system. What artistic values should prevail? How to define the artist when the notions of shaman, revolutionary and bohemian are no longer valid? What is the relationship between artist and their public? How to stay relevant for the artist herself/himself and for the world?
As artists operate in close connection with curators, collectors, and gallerists, Marta Gnyp has given voice to a few excellent actors from these categories to make the picture more complete: Fran c ois Pinault speaks about his experiences and his vision of contemporary art as a collector; Anthony d’Offay reflects on artists and the post-war art system from the perspective of a gallerist, while Demetrio Paparoni reflects on the state of contemporary art as an art historian, curator, and critic.
Thanks to her profound knowledge of the art world as theorist and as insider – being art advisor, collector, art journalist – Gnyp could engage in deep conversations and when needed was not afraid to ask difficult questions. Reading the essay and the interviews, the reader gets a great sense of what do the artists do and think, and also what are the most challenging issues of our art system in general.
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