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jerryking : media   27

30 things about art and life, as explained by Charles Saatchi
He rarely gives interviews, but a new book offers an intriguing insight into what drives the enigmatic collector's passion for art
You've been successful at discovering new artistic talent. But are there not always great artists who go undiscovered?
By and large, talent is in such short supply that mediocrity can be taken for brilliance rather more than genius can go undiscovered.
You have been described both as a "super-collector" and as "the most successful art dealer of our times". Looking back on the past 20 years, how would you characterise your activities?
Who cares what I'm described as? Art collectors are pretty insignificant in the scheme of things. What matters and survives is the art. I buy art that I like. I buy it to show it off in exhibitions. Then, if I feel like it, I sell it and buy more art. As I have been doing this for 30 years, I think most people in the art world get the idea by now. It doesn't mean I've changed my mind about the art that I end up selling. It just means that I don't want to hoard everything for ever.
Your practice of buying emerging artists' work has proved highly contagious and is arguably the single greatest influence on the current market because so many others, both veteran collectors and new investors, are following your lead, vying to snap up the work of young, relatively unknown artists. Do you accept that you are responsible for much of the speculative nature of the contemporary art market?
I hope so. Artists need a lot of collectors, all kinds of collectors, buying their art.
Do you think you have messed up anybody's life by flogging off all their work?
I don't buy art just to make artists happy any more than I want to make them sad if I sell their work. Don't you think you're being a bit melodramatic?
Before you went into advertising, what other career did you consider?
"Consider" isn't quite how it was. At 17 and with two O-levels to show after a couple of attempts, a career path wasn't realistic, nor a chat with the Christ's College careers officer, who wouldn't have recognised me in any event as my absenteeism record was unrivalled. I answered a situations vacant ad in the Evening Standard for a voucher clerk, pay £10 weekly. It was in a tiny advertising agency in Covent Garden, and a voucher clerk had to traipse round all the local newspaper offices in Fleet Street – of which there were hundreds at the time – and pick up back copies of papers in which the agency's clients had an advert appearing. The voucher clerk's role was to get the newspaper, find the ad, stick a sticker on it so the client could verify its appearance, and the agency could get paid. Vital work, obviously. One of the advantages of it being a tiny agency was that one day they got desperate when their creative department (one young man) was off sick, and they asked me if I could try and make up an ad for one of their clients, Thornber Chicks. This ad was to appear in Farmer and Stock-Breeder magazine, and hoped to persuade farmers to choose Thornbers, as their chicks would grow to provide many cheap, superior quality eggs and a fine return. I didn't know how you wrote an ad, or indeed how to write anything much other than "I will not be late for assembly", for which I had been provided much practice. So I looked through copies of Farmer and Stock-Breeder and Poultry World, chose some inspiring-sounding words and phrases, cobbled them together, stuck on a headline – I think I stole it from an old American advertisement – and produced "Ask the man who owns them" as a testimonial campaign featuring beaming Thornber farmers. The client bought it.
Does a love of art, particularly Renaissance art on a biblical theme, make one feel closer to God?
I believe God must be very disappointed in his handiwork. Mankind has clearly failed to evolve much in all these years; we're still as cretinous and barbaric as we were many centuries ago, and poor God must spend all day shaking his head at our vileness and general ineptitude. Or perhaps, we might just give him a good laugh. But of course, I hope God likes our art enough to forgive us our sins, particularly mine.
I like the new gallery but hated your gallery in County Hall. What were you thinking!
I was stupid, stupid, stupid. I got bored with knowing my first gallery in Boundary Road too well, so well in fact that I could hang my shows to the centimetre while sitting on a deckchair in Margate. Plus, I wanted to introduce new art to as wide a public as possible, and I went for somewhere with a much bigger footfall on the South Bank next to the London Eye. So I gave up the airy lightness of Boundary Road for small oak-panelled rooms, and nobody liked it. I saw it as a challenge, but one which I clearly wasn't up to.
Which artists do you display in your own home? Are you constantly changing the works you have there? Is there a core of favourites which stay there?
My house is a mess, but any day now we'll get round to hanging some of the stacks of pictures sitting on the floor.
Who are the artists you are most pleased with discovering?
Over the years I have been very lucky to see some great artists' work just at the start of their careers, so that I could feel "pleased with discovering" them. However, I have also "discovered" countless artists who nobody but me seemed to care much for and whose careers have progressed very slowly, if at all. So I certainly don't have an infallible gift for spotting winners. I think it's fair to say that I bought Cindy Sherman in her first exhibition in a group show, with some of her black-and-white film stills framed together in those days as a collage of 10 images, and went on to buy much of her work for the next few years. I bought most of the work from Jeff Koons's first exhibition in a small and now-defunct artist-run gallery in New York's East Village, which included the basketballs floating in glass aquariums and the Hoovers and other appliances in fluorescent-lit vitrines. But this is getting too self-congratulatory and the truth is I miss out on just as many good artists as I home in on.
Are paintings a better investment than sharks in formaldehyde? The Hirst shark looks much more shrivelled now than it used to, but a Peter Doig canvas will still look great in 10 years and will be much easier to restore.
There are no rules about investment. Sharks can be good. Artists' dung can be good. Oil on canvas can be good. There's a squad of conservators out there to look after anything an artist decides is art.
Why do overseas museums have better collections of Britart than the Tate?
Because the Tate curators didn't know what they were looking at during the early 1990s, when even the piddliest budget would have bought you many great works. But I'm no better. I regularly find myself waking up to art I passed by or simply ignored.
Looking ahead, in 100 years' time, how do you think British art of the early 21st century will be regarded? Who are the great artists who will pass the test of time?
General art books dated 2105 will be as brutal about editing the late 20th century as they are about almost all other centuries. Every artist other than Jackson Pollock, Andy Warhol, Donald Judd and Damien Hirst will be a footnote.
If you were commissioning your own portrait, in which medium would you choose to be represented?
I'd rather eat the canvas than have someone paint me on it.
What is it like being married to a domestic goddess?
She's too good for me, I know, but she knows it too and reminds me every day.
Do you ever do the cooking?
I can do eggs. And cornflakes.
Do you encourage your children to look at your art and go to museums and galleries?
My children think it's very uncool to have anything to do with my gallery. But they quite like the gallery shop.
What advice do you and your wife give your children?
Nigella's mum gave her an invaluable insight into nice behaviour. According to Nigella her advice went something like this: "It is better to be charmed than to charm." By this she meant that what makes people feel good about themselves is feeling as if they have been charming, interesting; in short, have been listened to. For her, the notion that one should oneself be riveting or aim to be quite the most fascinating person in the room was a vulgarity and just sheer, misplaced vanity. Trying to be charming is self-indulgent; allowing oneself to be charmed is simply good manners.
Should the country be spending money on saving old masters for the nation, or buying up works by the next generation of artists?
At the risk of being lynched – again – by the art crowd, I don't think there is a great need any more to save paintings for the nation at the cost of supporting new art. What difference does it make if a Titian is hanging in the National Gallery, the Louvre or the Uffizi? This isn't the 18th century: people travel, so there's no need to be nationalistic about the world's art treasures. Much more important is to back living artists.
What is your favourite museum in the world?
The Prado in Madrid. I have a weakness for Goya, but the museum itself is so unfussy, and clearly loves to display its many masterpieces as unshowily as possible, each visit reinforces my belief in the enduring importance of art.
I know very little about contemporary art but have £1,000 to invest. Any advice?
Premium bonds. Art is no investment unless you get very, very lucky, and can beat the professionals at their game. Just buy something you really like that will give you a thousand pounds' worth of pleasure over the years. And take your time looking for something really special, because looking is half the fun.
What is your proudest achievement?
I don't do pride. That's not to say I don't have an ego the size of an aircraft hangar, but I'm not even very proud of that.
How much money have you lost in the recession?
I daren't look.
Aren't those dot paintings [by Damien Hirst] just like wallpaper?
You may as well say that Rothko paintings look like nice rugs. There's no crime in art being decorative.
With Mark … [more]
art  collectors  Saatchi_gallery  Reality_TV  Art_and_design  Culture  Media  The_Observer  Features  via:millersashley  art_market 
november 2016 by jerryking
Back in the media game – unexpectedly - The Globe and Mail
richard blackwell
From Monday's Globe and Mail
Published Sunday, May. 01, 2011

As head of specialty channel behemoth Alliance Atlantis Communications Inc., Michael MacMillan was one of Canada's most powerful media moguls. He sold the company for $2.3-billion in 2007, generating a personal fortune, part of which he invested in a charitable foundation (Samara) and a winery (Closson Chase, in Ontario’s Prince Edward County, east of Toronto).
More from the At the Top archives

Staking out a farmland business
Regimes change but the work stays the same for SNC chief

Now, he's returned to the media business, having set up Blue Ant Media Inc. to take a stake in GlassBox Television Inc., a small outfit with a handful of specialty television channels and ambitious plans to distribute programming over the Internet and hand-held devices.
interviews  Alliance_Atlantis  media  digital_media  television 
october 2011 by jerryking
Document Page: The Evolving Mission Of Google
Carr, David
The New York Times
03-21-2011
"There is no doubt in my mind they are becoming a media company," said
Mike Vorhaus, the president of the media consulting firm Magid Advisors.
"They are providing content to consumers and selling ads against it --
sounds like a media company to me."

So what, you might ask. What difference does it make what occupation
Google writes down on its driver's license?

For starters, being in the media business means looking at media a
little differently. Google has been spending a lot of time and some
significant money trying to help traditional media businesses stay in
business, in part because Google does not want its search engines to
crawl across a wasteland of machine-generated info-spam and amateur
content with limited allure.
Google  Hal_Varian  Netflix  competitive_landscape  mass_media  media  YouTube  strategy  sports  content  David_Carr  digital_media  layer_mastery 
march 2011 by jerryking
N.Y. Times unveils pay wall: Canada first - The Globe and Mail
SUSAN KRASHINSKY — MEDIA REPORTER
From Friday's Globe and Mail
Published Thursday, Mar. 17, 2011
newspapers  NYT  pay_walls  media 
march 2011 by jerryking
Magic Johnson, Yucaipa Invest in Vibe - WSJ.com
FEBRUARY 10, 2011 | WSJ | By RUSSELL ADAMS. Magic Johnson, Yucaipa Invest in Vibe.
African-Americans  private_equity  Magic_Johnson  Ron_Burkle  Vibe  roll_ups  consolidation  media 
february 2011 by jerryking
Michael Eisner - WSJ. Magazine - WSJ
December 2, 2010 » |Edited from Alan Deutschman’s interview
with Eisner. The former Disney CEO has reinvented himself as author
and new-media entrepreneur. Seeing the potential to reach larger
audiences than ever before via the Web, the complex mogul talks about
the transformation of media from caveman days to those ahead and how
content really is king...`I would much rather hire an executive who has
taken courses in history and philosophy and language and art, and
English and Russian literature than somebody who has only studied a
single element of one subject.``
media  Michael_Eisner  Disney  entrepreneur  hiring  liberal_arts  humanities  content  literature  reinvention  moguls  digital_media 
december 2010 by jerryking
Reading and the Web - Texts Without Context - NYTimes.com
March 17, 2010 | New York Times | By MICHIKO KAKUTANI. ..."the
contentious issues of copyright, intellectual property and plagiarism
that have become prominent in a world in which the Internet makes
copying and recycling [simple]..." "the [Web], is encouraging “authors,
journalists, musicians and artists” to “treat the fruits of their
intellects and imaginations as fragments to be given without pay to the
hive mind.” "online collectivism, social networking and popular software
designs are changing the way people think and process information, a
question of what becomes of originality and imagination in a world that
prizes “metaness” and regards the mash-up as “more important than the
sources who were mashed.”"
culture  media  reading  social_media  trends  mashups  intellectual_property  plagiarism  copyright 
march 2010 by jerryking
How Not to Pitch a Reporter - Independent Street - WSJ
December 31, 2007 | Wall Street Journal | by Laura Lorber.
While email correspondence has become part of a journalist’s job, a
pitch that’s personalized and sent with my needs in mind is bound to
have a much greater chance of getting consideration. Most unfortunately
fall far short of this ideal, and our experience isn’t too far from Mr.
Anderson’s. Some even make it to a “PR Hall of Shame” that a reporter’s
assistant set up in a visitor cubicle here, a wall plastered with email
print-outs of the worst of the worst pitches.
howto  media  journalists  public_relations  pitches  Communicating_&_Connecting 
february 2010 by jerryking
Book Review: "The Curse of the Mogul" - WSJ.com
OCTOBER 6, 2009 | Wall Street Journal | by JEREMY PHILIPS
reviews The Curse of the Mogul By Jonathan A. Knee, Bruce C. Greenwald
and Ava Seave Portfolio, 304 pages, $26.95
book_reviews  media  moguls  Jonathan_Knee 
october 2009 by jerryking
WSJ Magazine » Print » Desirée Rogers’ Brand Obama
Desirée Rogers’ Brand Obama

Posted By admin On April 30, 2009 @ 10:00 am In The Big Interview
Obama  women  government  marketing  media 
may 2009 by jerryking
Fareed Zakaria GPS - CNN.com
BOOK OF THE WEEK
The Fat Tail: The Power of Political Knowledge for Strategic Investing by Ian Bremmer and Preston Keat.
The Lords of Finance by Liaquat Ahamed
"It's about how we got into the last great depression, and it contains good lessons on how to avoid this new one."
Science and Government ~ The Godkin Lectures at Harvard University, 1960 by C.P. Snow.
US POLITICS
• "The Inheritance: The World Obama Confronts and the Challenges to American Power" by David E. Sanger.
THE ECONOMY
• "The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World" by Niall Ferguson.

HISTORY
• "The Wise Men" by Walter Isaacson.
• "Imagining India: The Idea of a Nation Renewed" by Nandan Nilekani
SOCIOLOGY
• "Outliers" by Malcolm Gladwell
FOREIGN POLICY
• "Power Rules: How Common Sense Can Rescue American Foreign Policy" by Leslie Gelb
news  media  geopolitics  Fareed_Zakaria  globalization  cnn  interviews  Great_Depression  Outliers  Malcolm_Gladwell  books  Ian_Bremmer  David_Sanger 
april 2009 by jerryking
A Future for Newspapers - WSJ.com
MAY 24, 2007 | Wall Street Journal | op-ed by ANDY KESSLER

Google, Microsoft and others dropped over $10 billion to buy online ad-delivery companies in the last few weeks alone.
Andy_Kessler  media  newspapers  op-ed  P2P  future  digital_media  business_models  monetization 
april 2009 by jerryking
Rolling the Dice
Jun/Jul 2007.| American Journalism Review Vol. 29, Iss. 3; pg.
40, 4 pgs| by Paul Farhi

Big-media companies and entrepreneurs alike are entering the hyperlocal
arena. Some are making money, others are failing. This article gives
examples of both.
hyperlocal  media 
april 2009 by jerryking

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