speaking of books

Added on by Jourdan.
I recently finished Seven Days in the Art World, an entertaining, non-fictional look into the various facets of the "art world" and all of its complexity. I highly recommend it - especially for artists, but not exclusively. Many artists, and art professionals, have loved ones who know nothing of the hard-to-explain world we inhabit (or hope to one day) - I can't help but think that reading this book may be an entertaining way to help them understand - or at least make them realize that they don't.
"Art and business, personal quests and personality cults, big bucks and the triumph of concept over beauty, being cool and in the know—these are the cardinal points in the contemporary art world. Enter Thornton, an art historian and sociologist with moxie and a brilliant game plan. Willing to ask obvious questions, she infiltrates the seven circles of this competitive realm. An astute observer and stimulating storyteller whose crisp sentences convey a wealth of information, Thornton marvels at the military precision of a Christie’s auction and the wild improvisation of an art-school critique.  On to Art Basel, a major international art fair where the “hard buy” rather than the hard sell is the rule since an artist’s reputation is tied to those who own his or her work. Thornton witnesses the final stage in the judging and presentation of the Turner Prize, watches editors at work at Artforum, attends the coveted Venice Biennale, and spends a dizzying day with the wizardly artist-entrepreneur Takashi Murakami. Thornton’s uniquely clarifying dispatches from the art front glimmer with high-definition profiles of artists, dealers, critics, and collectors, and grapple with the paradoxes inherent in the transformation of creativity into commodity." --Donna Seaman's review for Amazon.com 

While we're on the subject... Steve Martin's (yes the actor!) fictional, brow-raising tale of the art world is equally as entertaining (perhaps even moreso). It follows the exploits of a young, ambitious female art dealer and offers a slightly more cynical view of that side of spectrum. A great read! CLICK HERE to read the NY Times' review of the novel.