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Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Does School Of Saatchi Have Simon Cowell's X Factor?

Will The Saatchi Experiment Prove Britain’s Got Talent ?
(Unfortunately, This is going to be Charles's epitaph)

Charles Saatchi was a man who represented his time in both his contribution to modern advertising and also for his cultural contribution to visual art in Britain. Along with his brother Maurice they created some of the most successful ad campaigns of the era, including, “ Labour isn’t working” and the shocking, ‘pregnant man’ poster. His genius for marketing and creative manipulation won the Tory party a landslide victory in 1979, which lasted until 1997. His other legacy has been his virtual domination of the visual art scene in the UK for over 25 years. Saatchi not only founded The Saatchi Gallery, which is a privately funded very public gallery, but was also the champion behind the YBA (Young British Artists) movement also known as Brit-Art. As in many past dynasties, the Saatchi period has abruptly come to a close. First he was accused of being just another art dealer when after aggressive marketing, he decided to sell 130 of his purchases through Christies in 1998. This continued with the high profile sale in 2003, when he sold many of his works by Damien Hirst back to the artist and to the London dealer Jay Jopling. It was reported that, Hirst paid Saatchi a bargain basement $15 million for 12 of his best-known pieces. It is also known that Saatchi has been selling through the major auction houses for years culminating with a reported partnership with Phillips de Pury, the Luxembourg, New York and now London auctioneers.
After launching his impressive new gallery in Chelsea in 2008, Saatchi is not doing himself or his reputation any favours by making the irreparable mistake of lending his overstretched name to something even more unacceptable than Margaret Thatcher. This faux pas has been re-packaged in the form of an X Factor style show masquerading as an arts program on the BBC.Boring old Auntie (That’s the BBC to our readers elsewhere) in her quest to replace as much broadcasting time with cheap to - make, reality programming, have been sold the idea by the advertising mogul. The objective of this fluff is to humiliate 100 young, amateur and professional artists as they aimlessly have their 15 minuets of fame in front of the cameras. The winning prize is the chance to be included in a group show organized by Saatchi at the Hermitage in St. Petersburg It is going out under the hilarious title “The School Of Saatchi”. God help us and God help Charles Saatchi whose popularity and reputation has plummeted. In this years ArtReview’s, 100 most influential people. He has moved from number 1 in 2002 to 14 in 2008 to the staggeringly poor 72 in 2009. I am not a Saatchi basher. But this beggars belief. It is sort of an unforgivable misdemeanour that will not be easy to recover from. Unlike Alan Sugar, Saatchi will not be appearing on this reality show himself. He will be represented by some unknown from the gallery along with Barbican curator, Kate Bush and publicity hound artist, Tracey Emin. I am horrified at the dumbing down of an area that we at ArtLyst take extremely seriously. The show begins airing on 23 November BBC 2 See more on -- ArtBitch 2009

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