Parallel economies in art
Are dissenting artists in need of their own commercial channels? Further thoughts on what channels will support dissenting art.
Whenever I was near Waterloo station in London, I would wander down The Cut – usually on my way to Calder Books – and take a look through the window of a picture dealer. Llewellyn Alexander Gallery had an old-fashioned window display in their small gallery. Standing on the pavement, passed by the inner-city poor and working class on their daily activities, I would gaze at Dorset coastal views, painterly Venice canals, meticulous still-lifes and comfortable domestic interiors, flooded with light. Occasionally I would enter and browse. Whenever I examined the labels I was struck by two points. Firstly, the high price of the art and, secondly, the fact I had never heard of these artists.