Each October Art Review publishes its Power 100. A list that always reflects the power brokers of the art world, and not – sadly – its genuine power: that of true creative expression and its influence on our culture. This year international art dealers Iwan and Manuela Wirth have topped this year’s Power 100.
The two beat out important figures such as Ai Weiwei, surely a far worthier contender to the throne? Having suffered the slings and arrows – both literal and metaphorical – of the Chinese government for many years, having been a frequent critic of the his government’s policies, often exploring the limits placed on the right of people in China to express themselves, as well as his personal experience of incarceration – a true inspiration surely? But no. Not number one. Because the artist is not a shark in this unregulated ocean.
Instead the Art Review selection is mostly made as a commercial choice which names the most powerful movers and shakers in the art world. The Wirths topped Art Review magazine’s Power 100 list for “what they have done to change the model of selling and promoting art”.
But soon Artlyst will release its own alternative Art PowerLyst, this is the definitive alternative to Art Review’s Power 100. Many believe that AR’s list is built on the sheer financial power of its art world players, and NOT on the power of greatest importance: that of creative influence and genuine cultural inspiration.
As Artlyst champions emerging artists, we also champion the notion that with true creativity comes the ability to affect our cultural environment for the better of our artistic society and that of broader culture in general. It’s this influence that will be celebrated in our alternative power 100, not the sheer financial muscle and domination of monied art-stars, bored millionaire gallerists, or other insider influences, present in the world’s most unregulated legal market.
So we say NO to the usual Machiavellian ‘AR’ power list that frankly still has more in common with the Times ‘Rich List’ than it does with a list that should reflect the currents and critical thought that affect the evolution of contemporary art. So instead, we will bring you something of far greater importance, something of greater honesty, and something in line with Artlyst’s beliefs.
So it’s OUT with that fiscal art clout and IN with genuine merit, we will bring you a top 100 of cultural inspiration from individuals improving our art world for the selfless betterment of our culture. So soon it will be GOOD-BYE Art world power brokers, your influence is no longer needed, if it ever was.
Words: Artbytch, firstname.lastname@example.org / photo P C Robinson © Artlyst 2015