“Art is the exotic domain of mysterious creatures who paint in ‘north-facing rooms’ in the villages of Paris at the feet of whimsical masters. These mysterious creatures are often nocturnal, living on a diet of paint thinners and pigment powders. Often they produce masterpieces which are really more of a puzzle than a thing of beauty for ordinary folks like us.” Thoughts Of The “Common” Man
The life history of past masters like Van Gogh and the unfathomable desolation depicted in the paintings of Picasso do nothing to diminish these myths about art which exist in the minds of our friends. For me as well, the world of art continued to hold its mystries close to its own chest.
I was therefore overjoyed when I came across the book – Seven days In The Art World – by Sarah Thornton. Sarah spent many days with seven different dimensions of art – visiting auction houses, studios and art fairs – and interviewed art professors, art critics and collectors and other movers and shakers of the art market. She has written an entertaining portrait of a world which is glamorous and yet full of strong headed businessmen and businesswomen. Her book truly demystifies many elements of the art world.
You may feel at times that Sarah’s book focuses on the wheeling and dealing in the art world more than art itself. For many ‘true’ artists, this book may not have much appeal. This has nothing to do with the book itself – Sarah’s book is truly a masterpiece, a delightful read. However, the fact is that for many artists, it gives immense pleasure to actually create art; many of us feel that real joy is in taking up the brush and putting it to work on a new canvas. For such artists, the machinations of the art world may seem to be an unnecessary distraction.
However, if do you have curiosity about what goes on in Christie’s auction houses, in the minds of the art collectors, behind the scenes in the art fairs and in the editors offices of top art magazines, then you would definitely enjoy reading this book.