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Stefan Simchowitz Thinks “Culture Must be Democratized”

stefan simchowitz-

stefan simchowitz-

Stefan Simchowitz, the notorious art flipper/dealer that everyone loves to hate, is at it again. In a recent telephone interview with artnet News, Simchowitz put on his economist hat and theorized about the problems plaguing today’s art galleries. Using his signature no-holds-barred language, Simchowitz says he doesn’t want to be a nightclub bouncer for the market:

I believe in building markets through inclusion, and focusing on the real data and effectiveness of building markets […] so that cultural production is managed in a real way, and not in a fictional way where I have to be a doorman at a nightclub and only let the cool people in, and make sure that everyone else stays out. All you have is essentially fake markets with cool people in the VIP section of the nightclub being able to order the champagne and everyone else has to wait outside in the freezing cold. That’s bullshit!

Earlier this year, Simchowitz was part of a panel discussion at the Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas that provoked this article by Glasstire’s Christina Rees. A short excerpt below:

In Simchowitz’s case, he just throws a lot of money at his lack-of-feel problem, and recasts art as pure product. His aggressive “commonsense” approach is meant to make art lovers shut the hell up, because we all know money talks louder than anything else […] But art lovers won’t shut the hell up when it comes to Simchowitz. And Simchowitz gets angry and defensive when art people question his methods.

Ultimately, whether or not the gallery business plan works, we know that the job is never easy. So keep on keepin’ on, Texas galleries.

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5 Responses

  1. Rainey Knudson

    As usual, Simchowitz correctly recognizes that there’s a problem, but draws the completely wrong conclusions. He’s either too close, or too dumb, or too megalomaniacal, to see things straight. He is the contemporary version of Robert Scull. He is Exhibit A of what’s gone terribly wrong.

  2. i am glad someone is talking about money in relation to art making instead of the usual drivel artists and critics spout about process, art history, etc. etc. we need more conversations about how in the hell artists are ever gonna survive financially without being funded by spouses, brothers, parents, receiving disability, or trying to get in a high end gallery that over charges for the work. yes Stefan is on the far right but he has taken some artists on a ride they would have never been on otherwise which is better than the usual essentially ignored penniless artists often receive just IMO though and i love the art talk but lets get real about the money part

  3. Paula Newton

    Was anyone else grossed out by Brian Boucher’s article in this morning’s Artnet News, entitled “Why Global Warming Is Bad for the Art Market”? The article was no less disgusting than the headline. We should all take responsibility for this kind of art tunnel-visioned nonsense, Glasstire readers and Dave Hickey fans alike. I actually don’t mean to cast any blame; it just really bums me out.

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