artforum and what’s Wrong With the Art World

A_190x190Jerry Saltz at New York Magazine:

But, in a sense, more important than the articles are the advertisements — the porn of the art world. This is where the art world does its peacocking, more out in the open than anywhere else. Inside the glossy 410 pages (shininess is fine for magazines), there are the ads. Lots of them. By my count, there are 287 full pages of ads in all. That’s 70 percent of the magazine. A whopping 73 of these are from New York galleries — a greater percentage than in previous recent seasons. The rates for these pages vary, are based on different things, and presumably slide for different galleries. (The person long in charge of all this isArtforum co-publisher Knight Landesman, one of the smartest, most nimble, and stylish people in the art world. Landesman mystically seats this fancy dinner party within every issue — cliques, hierarchies, and pecking orders on full view.) Full-page, four-color ads run around $5,000 or $6,000. If the ad falls within the first 20 percent of the mag, the rate can go up to $7,000 or $8,000. I love that a magazine is doing well. But with advertising costing so much, it must be hell these days for small and midsize gallerists to pay as much or more than my annual salary for a year’s worth of art ads. And this is only for one issue of one magazine.

more here.