Duchamp, New York, The 21st Century and Chelsea
Duchamp, without a doubt, gave us our most brilliant theories on art and context. What is of the utmost importance to remember is that these ideas include the maturity and quality of the work as well as the actual object itself.
“Bad” work in the context of a “good” gallery can be pure unadulterated crap. One visit to Chelsea, where visions of sugar plums often dance in our heads, presents moments of absolute greatness at institutions like Gagosian and PACE. However, there is some awful work in other New York galleries that echos the “bad” found in any less iconic art city with an arts community.
Duchamp’s theory holds true – yes, art is based on its context – but “bad” work is just as bad when it is in the galleries of NYC as in galleries in Chicago, or Santa Fe, LA or Denver. The same applies to the “good” work.
New York City does not “make” the work.
So, just make your work – hold to the highest standard of history, theory, context – break your own personal ceiling – but do it smartly.
Forget your projections of where good work is being made because it is not being made in the great city of New York any more than anywhere else in the world. i.e. being an art market whore is just another predictable genre, stop making work that you think looks like art.