A long-winded, desperate justification for swilling booze at Art Openings


from the desk of Oliver Hartman – Resident Bargain Whorespondent


The other day, Stuart provided the etymology for mack and hoodlum.  Not one to be outdone, I’d like to turn to Tom Wolfe’s The Painted Word (the critics responses excerpted in wikipedia are hilarious and make me look like an asshole!) to explain how I can antisocially walk into a gallery opening, swill some alcohol and pilfer a few cheese and breads and leave guilt free.  Every time.  Being among the most industrious of budget gnoshers, this is crucial for me as a broke-ass.


Wolfe contends that a small contingent of powerful critics, collectors, and gallery owners in New York, London, Paris create the commercial art market.  When synced, they can catapult an unknown artist to stardom.  Sometimes it is truly about the art.  Other times, it’s spinning gold thread from hay; Rumpelstiltzken and alchemy. Taking some personality and hyping up the market.


I like art, but am cynical about stratospheric commercial art. Stratospheric commercial anything is suspicious. Keanu Reeves landing roles in films about non-robots says something to me.  Warhol is another obvious example. His cult of personality, or absence of, trumped all. His factory and following of freaks was something important. It was, and still is, a powerful reflection on society and celebrity. But his art?  Come on. The point is, commercial art is an industry and no one knows this better than gallery owners, which is why you can drink the booze and eat the nibbles guilt free. After all, they are giving it away. 

Refine your skills this Friday:


Alyson Shotz Phase Shift Opening Reception 


Friday February 27th 6pm-8pm

Derek Eller Gallery (615 West 27th Street, between 11th and 12th Avenues)

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About the author

Monica Miller - The Intern

Ms. Miller was born in San Diego, CA to one lesbian mother and one righteous, cheap father. Currently, she is enrolled at San Francisco State University for a B.A. in Journalism and the approximate completion date is around 2015. She has worked for many papers in the Bay Area, including the Oakland Tribune and the San Mateo Country Times and is currently the city editor at one of the most underappreciated publications in SF, the Golden Gate [X]press. Though she may find bargains aplenty, it only stems from the necessity of never landing an actual job and working for hacks [like Stuart.] With intelligence, style, poise, bite, and honesty, she will rip your heart out; but not before writing some awesome, poignant shit. This year, she is looking forward to bigger and better things such as: trying to get paid for a gig, actually finding a date that isn't a loser or fucking crazy, not calling her parents when hungover and bringing you the best of the 7x7 everyday of the week. [By the way, I wasn't kidding about the date thing; if you love food, booze and shoegaze, get at me.]