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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The internal workings of the art world, 13 Dec. 2010
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This review is from: Seven Days in the Art World (Paperback)
Unlike the medical or forensic experts world, which are explored through popular TV shows and mass media culture, the art world remains mostly shut off from outsiders, at least concerning it's internal workings. Being technically a part of the art world the author describes (I'm taking a Master's degree in Museum and Curatorial studies), there are still a few parts of it that are a mystery to me, which is why I bought this book.

The art world is rather schizophrenic, with intense contrasts and polarized beliefs and actions, and the book does a great job presenting this: for example, we have the very rich people who believe art is a commodity versus very poor art students who abhor words like creativity and never speak about money. There's a delicate balancing of these conflicting beliefs, and it's fascinating to see the mechanics behind that balancing.

However, I have to say that the tone of this book was one of exaggeration. In all these stories, the volume is turned up high, and the people described and their actions seem at times so extreme that I started to wonder if they were not caricatures of themselves. It makes it seem like there is no place in the art world for balanced human beings or actions. This is far from the truth (again, I speak from my own personal experience); this probably happens because it's much more interesting to show the extremes than to make space in the book for less sensational situations.

All in all, this is a fascinating book if you're interested in the mechanics of the art world, with an easy to read (but still interesting) language, based on a remarkable research work. Definitely worth it.
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