Monday, December 21, 2009

Good book About the Art World

I'm reading a very interesting book: Seven Days in the Art World, by Sarah Thornton. It caught my eye as I was in Barnes & Noble the other day and I'm glad I picked it up.

The author is a sociologist with a background in art history. She provides an intriguing inside look into the various subcultures that make up the "art world."

Here are a few quotes from her introduction:

The contemporary art world is a loose network of overlapping subcultures held together by a belief in art (p. xi).
[C]ontemporary art has become a kind of alternative religion for atheists (p. xiv).
Although the art world reveres the unconventional, it is rife with conformity (p. xv).

The art world is not a "system" or smooth-functioning machine but rather a conflicted cluster of subcultures--each of which embraces different definitions of art (p. xix).
 The second quote above is especially provocative. I suspect it is a fairly accurate observation.

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