Thursday, November 09, 2006

Tom Sanford's Serious Artist Barometer

Tom Sanford likes Artnet's updated monthly list of the 300 most popular artists because of it's democraticism, claiming it is compiled based on the number of searches for particular artists, and that "they are there for some other reason than how much money they stand to make for Steve Cohen or Charles Saatchi".

But I'm pretty sure that the only artists listed on Artnet, and reflected in the "popular search" thing, are names that have been provided by galleries that advertise on Artnet, or have an auction record.

So I say so in the comments -

ME: you think? i didn't think many artists get listed on artnet that are not represented by galleries that pay to be listed, or advertise, on artnet.

To which Tom replies -

TOMPAC: well, maybe you could accuse me of being too snobby, turning my nose up at weekend artist and those who doodle while on the phone, but for practicality's sake I am willing to say that being on artnet is a useful bar for whether or not one is a serious/professional artist. i am sure that there are plenty exceptions...


Tom, I could also accuse you of being a shallow, naive, pompous ass.. but.. I think maybe that was just a slip?

Some of Tom's own favorite artists are not listed on Artnet... Richard Onyango, someone whom Tom himself has described as "an internationally recognized artist since the early 90s", is listed on Artnet for only a single auction sale. Very good artist friends (i like them too) Eric Doeringer and Bryan Zanisnik... not listed.

Quick searches reveal that Tom Moody is not listed, Zoe Strauss is not listed, High Times, Hard Times artists like Harmony Hammond and Joe Overstreet are not listed -- both are still working, the recently posted Lauren Luloff is not listed... Lauren shows with Cinders, Cinders does not advertise on Artnet... NOT LISTED.

Chris Norris is listed! Chris is listed because his name was provided by ADA Gallery, which recently signed up with Artnet. Six months ago ADA was not on Artnet, so Chris Norris was not yet serious. Bruce Wilhelm, ADA did not provide your name... you can't be serious.

Mildred Greenberg is listed on Artnet! She wasn't a couple years ago. She died in 2003, I guess she has become a more serious artist since she died. That was very professional of you Mildred!

Anyways, being listed on Artnet is of course a career positive, but IS NOT indicative of the "seriousness" of the individual artists, or of those artists not included.



bruce said...

Tom Sanford...wow....I think it might be slightly backwards, successful serious artists, on average, are probably the real weekend painters.

TOMPAC said...

hey martin,

sorry that i offended you with my hasty response to your comment!

i certainly realize that my artnet metric is not perfect, but it is far more broad that the list of 50 or so artist that the powerful institutions and currators et al. (who run shit) believe to be relavent. as i said there certainly are exception, artist who work outside the conventional art gallery system because of the nature of their work etc. i simply would like to suggest the artnet list because it is a better alternative to the power 100 list, and for the most part i believe the 300 artist list to be the most objective measure of which artists mean something to the culture at large.

martin said...

BEEF, sucka! ha!

TOMPAC said...

i see,

ok, if you like...


Fiona Ross said...


painterdog said...

well I went to the link on artnet, and lo and behold Mr.Sanford is not listed there, as are any of the other artist from Koenig's gallery. I personaly don't give a hoot, but I do think it's interesting given the drift of the thread.

martin said...

hi painterdog - tom is on the big list.


but it would be fun if EVERYBODY did an artnet search of his name and we could bump him up to the top 3oo.

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