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When I used to hang out in Gallery: LA back in the 1990s, the group of folks all had the idea that LA was the servant, bringing in the real money from the phony buyers, while New York was the Master, putting the Artists to work. "To understand American Art, you have to understand the New York scene."
I never understood the New York scene. Sure, I understand what it is, and to a degree how it operates, but never the why of the place. Why is New York the center? Yes, it's America's largest city, but Florence was second to Rome when it changed the entire path of art. New York, and particularly the artists of New York seem to be full of self-importance and an almost deluded sense of dominance. Noah Becker's documentary about the New York scene of 2010 actually brought me closer to understanding something I never really understood - that the New York Art Scene hates itself more than the rest of us, and what's more, they know they have to fight to keep it that way.
The interviews with artists, curators, dealers, and scenesters are really the key, and there are some humdinger soundbites, but every interview sort of boils down to "this is what New York means to art, and this is what's threatening it" and that is probably the most powerful part, and something that really hit me harder as the piece went on.
Klaus at Gunpoint
A Film Journal dedicated to all film.A segment of Office Supply Publishing.