When talking to new collectors I often recommend that they get in on the conversation. I point out that people are talking about art all of the time. You simply need to listen. Go to lectures, visit studios, take gallery tours with curators, heck you can even eavesdrop on conversations at galleries.
Well it turns out you can now tap into pretty meaty conversations on Facebook, too. There is one that has been going on between Jerry Saltz (art critic, New York Magazine) and his "friends" for the last few days. (You have to be a "friend" of Jerry's on Facebook to tap into this conversation but with 4,340 friends I don't think he's very picky.) To summarize briefly, Jerry wrote a positive review of the New Museum's Younger Than Jesus show. He took some heat for it:
What follows his Facebook Status (above) is a conversation of sorts between Jerry and about 60 people. Fairly interesting stuff.
But then it got really interesting (to me anyway). He followed up by asking people (his "friends") to name 3-5 artists they like who emerged after 1999. He added, "don't name yourself or artists no one has heard of but you". He received over 200 lists! (Facebook automatically deleted about 65 posts in the thread so he reposted to keep going.) Now, I'm the first to warn collectors not to collect simply because someone else told you to - buy what you love, yadda yadda and all that good stuff - but here are lists for collectors to mine. Not for collecting, necessarily, but for learning. Learning about artists people are talking about. (A small group of people, but a pretty informed group.) Young artists, too. Not established. This is good stuff!
I recognized some of the artists on the lists. It was fun to see where I agreed and where I disagreed. I also added my own list of five young artists I like to Jerry's conversation.
And then the wonderful Jerry put his money where his mouth is and shared his own list of artists he likes (appearing at the beginning of this post). Yowza. If your name is on that list you have to be pretty psyched. No guarantees, of course, but one hell of a shout out!
I'm spending the next few weeks tracking down some of the artists off of not only Jerry's but all of those lists. Just for the information. A course on "Art Now" for me to take at my leisure.