In spite of brave speculations by Steven Henry Madoff and others that the art market will somehow dodge the world financial crisis, this corner sees little to cheer about for the coming year, so let the predictions cascade like stock values.
DAMIEN HIRST’S CAREER IS OVER. Like those of Schnabel, Cucchi, Salle and other victims of the late 1980s crash, Hirst’s values will never recover
THE NEW WHITNEY BUILDING WILL BE INDEFINITELY POSTPONED. According to The Wall Street Journal, the Bucksbaum family real estate fortune dropped from $3 billion to $150 million one month.
ARTISTS WILL PAY FOR EVERYTHING. As in the 1960s, galleries will charge artists for everything from printing invitations to manning the front desk.
DEACCESSIONING IS THE NEW ARBITRAGE. Ever wonder why the American Association of Museum Directors never produced guidelines for due diligence on the Fulds, Madoffs and Koslowskis?
MAJOR COLLECTORS WILL SWAP ARTWORKS LIKE BASEBALL PLAYERS. I’ll give you five Hirsts and two Dumas for a Berkenblit, a Rifka, a Greenblatt and a Lack.
THE NEW MET DIRECTOR WON’T LAST A YEAR. What was his name?
AFRICA WILL BE THE NEW CHINA. With poverty, conflict and desperation sweeping the world, African artists will provide the zeitgeist.
OBAMA KITSCH WILL ACQUIRE MAGICAL POWERS. Move aside, Virgin Mary, that donut is shaped like Barack.
GALLERIES WILL MERGE OR DIE. Another ‘80s retread: remember Boone and Michael Werner?
WARHOLS WILL BE SWAPPED FOR FOOD. But only in Russia and Pittsburgh.
BUT THE BACKSCRATCHING, LOGROLLING AND ESTHETIC CONFORMITY OF THE CURATORIAL CLASS WILL NEVER, NEVER END. From now on, every contemporary art survey will be curated by Francesco Bonami.
CHARLIE FINCH is co-author of Most Art Sucks: Five Years of Coagula (Smart Art Press).