Gallery Mogul Goes Mental – artmarketblog.com

salander Gallery Mogul Goes Mental   artmarketblog.comYou have probably read about the scandal involving gallery mogul Larry Salander and his rather spectacular fall from grace that resulted in his being locked out of his own gallery and being forbidden from selling art anywhere in the world. Salander-O’Reilly Galleries was considered to be one of the world’s top art galleries but has not left owner Larry with a bunch of very angry and out of pocket investors as well as upwards of $100 million of debt. The mistake that Salander made that caused all his problems was a seriously misguided quest to turn people away from contemporary art and towards the old masters.

In a recent interview, the disgraced gallery owner expressed his disgust at the lack of value and importance being put on the old master works of artists like Titian and Tintoretto compared to contemporary artists like Warhol. I am not sure what possessed Salander to undertake this quest nor do I understand what influenced his negative opinion of contemporary art (I can appreciate his love of old masters though) but no matter how passionate he was about his cause or how convinced he was that he was doing the right thing, he was doomed to fail from the beginning.

What Salander underestimated is the impact and momentum that contemporary art has and how extensive the shift from a focus on the art to a focus on the artist has been. The current art market is very much focused on the whole visual arts experience that includes the artist, the artwork, the market and the art scene as opposed to just the object. When people buy contemporary art they are expecting to not only receive an object but also expect to be buying into the excitement of the career of a rising contemporary art star. Larry can go on about the technical skill and beauty of old master paintings all he likes but the fact remains that times have changed and the art market changed and unless he changes his tune he will continue to be left behind.

I make no apologies for my market oriented approach or for championing the commercial focus of the art market but that doesn’t mean that I don’t agree with what Salandar has to say it just means that I am a realist and am not afraid of change (or criticism)

 Gallery Mogul Goes Mental   artmarketblog.com**Nicholas Forrest is an art market analyst, art critic and journalist based in Sydney, Australia. He is the founder of http://www.artmarketblog.com, writes the art column for the magazine Antiques and Collectibles for Pleasure and Profit and contributes to many other publications.

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  • bootgun

    Three cheers for his failed attempt…..Hip hip…..

  • http://www.fabiocoruzzi.com Fabio Coruzzi

    dear Nicholas, i like the honesty and the spontaneity in your views, i am doing pretty the same on my weblog
    My name is Fabio, ondon based artist, i ma writing about the connection between art crits, galleries, media art publishing and fake evaluations to pump up he value of certain artists that don’ t deserve so much etcetera. I wrote this article in italian, I will translate it very soon, with your permission I would like to translate your editorial in Italian to publish it on my weblog, i am in contact with curators and artists that are quite tired to stand like puppets or penguins.. I take the opportunity to congratulate for your precious contribute to the arts. Ciaoo!!

    ps: I hope that you will have no problem about my request.
    my email is mrmatito@yahoo.it
    Regards
    FABIO CORUZZI
    http://www.fabiocoruzzi.com

  • http://madsilence.wordpress.com/ madsilence

    For most of history art has been about the market. It’s only recently (the last 150 years?) that Western culture has romanticized art and the role of the artist. The role of the gallery owner is clear: to sell art. What did Salander do to be blacklisted worldwide?

    MadSilence

  • VINCENT

    THE NEW YORK MAGAZINE ARTICLE WAS WRITTEN BY A PERSONAL FRIEND OF MR. SALANDER. APPARENTLY, HE MIGHT BE THE ONLY FRIEND SALANDER HAS LEFT. ALL THE OTHER FRIENDS WERE RIPPED OFF. LARRY SALANDER WAS ONLY ABOUT MONEY, MONEY AND MORE MONEY. THE WORDS COMMING OUT OF HIS MOUTH SHOULD ONLY BE TAKEN FOR ENTERTAINMENT AND NOT GOSPEL. WHEN HE ENDS UP IN JAIL (LETS HOPE SOON) HE WILL BE ANOTHER PRISONER WITH AN ” I DIDN’T DO ANYTHING WRONG” STORY. BOOK HIM!

  • http://www.artmarketblog.com artforprofits

    It is quite obvious that Mr. Salander was seriously misguided and slightly delusional so one wonders how he managed to be successful for so long

    Nicholas Forrest
    artmarketblog.com

  • Diana

    Do you know of a directory or listing of law firms specializing in or having experience in art and cultural property law? I can’t seem to find one, and Martindale doesn’t even list it as a specialty area.
    Thank you,
    Diana

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