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OUR READER MIKE AND THE ECONOMIES OF SCALE IN THE ART WORLD:

‘I always believe one should think of and strive for the ideal, while working with what is practical and attainable. This seems to yield the best results. I have also seen the growth of “artist-run” spaces, and while I approve of the efforts of artist taking control of the business aspects themselves, there is a pitfall involved that begins in the art education institutions, where many learn what art is today, which in my view is too often an illustration of a theory and not an authentic (i.e. artist led work based on their actual thought, experience and intuition that relates to their particular context). Dealing with their own collectors helps to mitigate this, as I suspect most of these collectors are local, giving the opportunity to address local concerns, as opposed to massively abstract global concerns of which the artists have little personal experience and are working with, at best, second-hand ideas and experiences. I still believe strongly, and put it into practice when I was teaching, that the art institution needs to address many of these issues in a more open, less dogmatic fashion.

In any event, intellectual exercise and “sheer mental wanking” are entirely necessary for artists as well as learning their craft, having the patience to embody their own ideas and visions, and being able balance the business and societal aspects of art making.

As always, good to hear from you, and best of luck with the Courtauld nonsense. Again, institutionality is part of the problem, where individuals are immeshed in their own world and mistake it for The World. To be so flippantly tyrannical is too common, yet is so wrong in higher education.’