I just read an interesting article on Carrie Brummer's blog about how art is defined by a few elite gatekeepers. Carrie argues that we are all to blame, as we allow this elite to dictate what is art. Instead, we should engage in that arts and make these decision ourselves. Carrie makes a good point and certainly if we are to look at other sectors such as publishing and the music industry, the internet has allowed the social collective to promote talent that may have otherwise have been overlooked by the talent scouts.
Carrie talks about how Marcel Duchamp made a mockery of this elitism when he entered Fountain for acceptance into a Salon. Even then the superstar artists had the Midas touch and it was not about what they did, but rather who did it. This leads me to an article in the Sun this week (via Artnet Magazine) where Damian Hurst visited Stringfellow's in London, signed a strippers underwear, which have since been valued at £15,000!
So the art world, it seems, is a little different to the publishing and music industries. The museums and biannuals seem to favor following the lead of the king makers such as Saatchi, Joplin and Rosen, who between them decide on the next art superstars. In time this may change, Saatchi is certainly open to this, their website visitors have a say in who gets promoted via their showdown feature, and with services like Art.sy that are about to be launched, maybe there will be a power shift. For those that are artists the only worry then, is not getting lost in the long tail.