The biggest whore in the art world, Art and Auction publisher/editor Bruce Wolmer, has once again sold his tattered soul for a mess of silver. Granted, the man who resembles a penis with shoes does deserve survivor points for enduring four ownership changes in seven years without toppling from the masthead, but the magazine's newest incarnation under North American paper czarina, and new owner, Louise MacBain, represents a deep, dark circle of hell for the bald reprobate and his long suffering employees.
Let's start with the actual paper the magazine is printed on, which feels like coarse soviet bathroom tissue, then move to the tacky post 9-11 cover of an ominous, descending airplane, and the magazine's uncomfortable new size which makes it look like a down market Hamptons magazine.
Gee, we haven't even looked inside yet!!
On the masthead, there's an advisory committee featuring three of the biggest "jambons" around, Bianca Jagger, Ross Bleckner and Robert Wilson. Wolmer, who commendably supported the Iraq war, now sucks up to pacifist beauty Bianca and praises, in his "editor's letter," the magazine's expanded coverage of France. See what we mean by "whore?"
Excellent, longtime Art and Auction art director Gordon Reynolds, who was ordered to clean out his desk on one hour's notice a month ago, is not even given the dignity of a mention on his last masthead.
But it gets worse: let's actually read the thing. A superficial, illiterate piece on abstract painting is credited to "the former executive editor of Black Book," a legend in insipid, vanity publishing.
Distinguished columnist Souren Melikian is forced into hysteria over the looted Iraqi museum story, which is subsequently proved to be a total fraud.
Then there's Judd Tully. Two months ago we misguidedly tipped Wolmer that Tully had been offered a heavy contract by the Art Newspaper. Judd did get a big raise from Bruce, but is now reduced to writing copy for a picturebook.
Sorry, Judd, and sorry Art Newspaper.
Did we forget the pathetic 1970s soft-core porno which takes up the center of the new Art and Auction, a bunch of old Vogue photos? As one longtime Wolmer staffer commented, "I am so sick of Bruce's pathetic, aging fetishism."
Add an incomprehensible calendar of events, which Wolmer claims is a simplification, and grotesquely superficial pictorials on French furniture and amulets and you've got a fat turkey ready for the basting.
Bruce Wolmer has been a personal friend of ours for ten years, but, Bruce, the most drug-addled transsexual hooker outside the Holland Tunnel laughs long and hard at you, baby.
No wonder Louise MacBain left her name off the masthead.
CHARLIE FINCH is co-author of Most Art Sucks: Five Years of Coagula (Smart Art Press).