In years gone by, the New York Armory (sic. I know, I know. It’s American. It kills me when I have to leave the ‘u’ out) Show has been the focus of feverish and often irrational activity on the part of collectors clamouring to scoop up works of art by the bestest, brightest, hottest, newest contemporary art überstars.
Allow me to teleport you back to the golden years – a fascinating article published in the New York Magazine by Marc Spiegler in 2006 captures the hype and herd behaviour that characterised the Armory Show back when collectors had seemingly limitless grab-bags of discretionary cash to fling around.
But now? Not so much. The 2009 Armory Show industry’s response to the bear market: what appears to be a shameless grab for publicity. Topless women, $5 ‘limited edition’ T-shirts, a life-size sculpture purportedly modelled entirely out of compacted cocaine, and paintings by Marilyn Manson and Lucy Liu. Oh… and taxidermy art by Carolyn Salas and Adam Parker Smith.
Seems the contemporary art market is well and truly stuffed.