And it sounds like a fool when it utters the words "Less than." to a woman.
Kiss Me, Stupid, Rosalyn Drexler, 1964
Excuse me for a moment while I go all Jennifer and Jerry on you, but this pisses me off. It all started with a casual question from Roberta Fallon when I saw her Friday night. She asked me if any of the Rosalyn Drexler paintings had sold yet. At the opening a number of the paintings were designated as "Reserved" but that was it. Not a single red dot in the bunch.
When I went to see this jaw-dropper of a show a second time on Saturday I was disappointed to find that I had no changes to report to Roberta. How many ways can I say, "What the hell?" This show came out of left field and knocked me on my ass on its way to the dugout. It was already a crime that I hadn't even heard of Drexler until Roberta introduced me to the work. Now this pathetic display of fiscal misogyny and fear. Am I surprised? Unfortunely, not so much. Money is just another reflection of the art world's general attitude towards women.
Here's the stock list breakdown for the 30 paintings as of 03.24.07:
Not For Sale: 4
NOT SOLD: 10
Seriously. Misogynist, fear-filled market . . . please burn in hell now. That would be great. With all the money that's been flying around you would think that there would be some out there who would be willing to "take a chance" on this work. Drexler's paintings are some of the best and smartest in town right now so there's only a few diseased notions that make the idea of buying them a "risky" one. First of all, she's a woman. Secondly, she's 80, and most people aren't familiar with her work. Of course, the reason that she's been off so many of the significant institutional radars is the fact that, well, she's a woman. Ah, the circle of stupidity. It do not disappoint.
I've got an idea for all you well-moneyed monkeys* out there. Look at the art. If it tears down your house, buy it. Let the value be on your wall and in your life, and not in the anticipation of some future stock list at Sotheby's. Trust me. There's no risk in that.
I don't want to pass judgement though. Maybe the game is all you really care about. That's fine. It's a free market, baby. Enjoy that ugly-ass, badly painted Schnabel on your wall for the next six months.
* I felt a little bad about having used such a caustic phrase here, but then I read this article in the April 2 issue of Fortune magazine and that put an end to that.