Recent Reads: Seven Days in the Art World

img00123 Seven Days In The Art World‘s book jacket depicts a sexy high-heeled female leg disappearing behind a corner of an all-white space that could only be an art gallery and leaves viewers wondering what could be behind this wall.  Sarah Thornton’s recent book tells us.  Thornton reviews and explores the contemporary art world from various perspectives and hits upon its various pressure points, exploring the trends, the players and the activities that make this world the glamorous and shady world it is.  Or at least it was until the market downturn…  The book’s chapters, devoted to the auction, the crit, the fair, the prize, the magazine, the studio visit and the biennale, provide a first-hand look at the deals and details of each of these places.

At times I was having such fun reading the impressions of those involved, the self importance and the total lack of perspective as compared to the world outside the art world.  At other times, it felt painful to be immersed in the details of such a self indulgent world of egos and shameless displays and discussions of money (and the access that money can buy.)  I am still left wondering if all of this isn’t just a case of the Emporer’s New Clothes, but this book qualifies as a guilty pleasure nonetheless.