Synopses & Reviews
The art market has been booming. Museum attendance is surging. More people than ever call themselves artists. Contemporary art has become a mass entertainment, a luxury good, a job description, and, for some, a kind of alternative religion.
In a series of beautifully paced narratives, Sarah Thornton investigates the drama of a Christie's auction, the workings in Takashi Murakami's studios, the elite at the Basel Art Fair, the eccentricities of Artforum magazine, the competition behind an important art prize, life in a notorious art-school seminar, and the wonderland of the Venice Biennale. She reveals the new dynamics of creativity, taste, status, money, and the search for meaning in life. A judicious and juicy account of the institutions that have the power to shape art history, based on hundreds of interviews with high-profile players, Thornton's entertaining ethnography will change the way you look at contemporary culture.
Named one of the best art books of 2008 by and [London]: "An indelible portrait of a peculiar society."--
'An indelible portrait of a peculiar society."Vogue
Sarah Thornton's vivid ethnography--an international hit, now available in fifteen translations--reveals the inner workings of the sophisticated subcultures that make up the contemporary art world. In a series of day-in-the-life narratives set in New York, Los Angeles, London, Basel, Venice, and Tokyo, ? explores the dynamics of creativity, taste, status, money, and the search for meaning in life.
About the Author
Sarah Thornton is a freelance writer who contributes to The New Yorker, BBC-TV, and Artforum.com. She has degrees in art history and sociology. She lives in London.