Thanks to one of our ever-growing digital scrapheap of tip offs about horrifying art world practices- seriously, we are collating all of these and someday we’re going to publish the ultimate directory of art world wrong ‘uns- I am not at all proud and indeed somewhat disgusted to introduce the SUPER-CONNECTED, GLOSSY-MAGAZINE-HAUNTING, RELENTLESSLY SELF-PUBLICISING, CAPS LOCK-LOVING SAMIR CERIC AND ZOE KNIGHT, AND THEIR DEBUT CONTEMPORARY:
I know we should play the ball and not the player, hate the sin and love the sinner, hate the game and not the playa, etc… but seriously, what the hell? This picture- and the fact that it’s one of the first things you see on their site, a site that’s supposed to be about developing the careers of artists, and the fact there’s pages and pages of other images of them and their press clippings here- certainly tells me a lot about them.
But instead of speculating about the creative possibilities of shop dummy wigs, plastic surgery, Photoshop and still choosing all your own clothes even though you’re red/green colourblind, or even asking “Debut Contemporary what?“, let’s hear from the “TOP TASTEMAKERS” themselves. Note that the blaring, almost unreadable ALL CAPS FORMAT, clumsy English and grammatical errors are in the original text:
“DEBUT CONTEMPORARY IS AN INNOVATIVE PLATFORM AIMED AT TALENTED AND AMBITIOUS ARTISTS INTERESTED AND EAGER TO TURN THEIR ART PRACTICE INTO A SUCCESSFUL CAREER AND A VIABLE BUSINESS. DEBUT IS THE ONLY PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT AND CAREER EMPOWERMENT PLATFORM OF ITS KIND IN THE UK AND FOLLOWS ON FROM THE SUCCESS THE FOUNDERS SAMIR CERIC AND ZOE KNIGHT, HUSBAND AND WIFE DUO, ACHIEVED THROUGH THE LAUNCH OF SALON CONTEMPORARY AND WOLF & BADGER.”
I wonder which one of them is the wolf, and which is the badger?
“USING THIS FLEXIBLE PLATFORM DESIGNED TO PASS ON THE INDUSTRY KNOWLEDGE WITH THE AIM TO INCREASE A SUCCESS RATE OF ARTISTS STAYING IN BUSINESS. IT WILL ALSO TEACH ALL PARTICIPATING ARTISTS HOW TO LOOK AT THEIR PRACTICE AS BUSINESS. ENABLING THEN NOT ONLY TO LIVE OFF THEIR WORK AND MAKE SOME SERIOUS FINANCIAL GAINS IN THE PROCESS. “YOU NO LONGER NEED TO BE DEAD IN ORDER TO SUCCEED’. COMMENTED AN ESTABLISHED AND HIGHLY SUCCESSFUL ARTIST. DUE TO THE RECESSION AND RISING UNEMPLOYMENT.WE BELIEVE IT IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN EVER THAT THESE CREATIVES ARE PROMOTED AND NURTURED AND DEBUT CONTEMPORARY OFFERS A SUSTAINABLE SOLUTION TO THIS PROBLEM. WE WILL ENABLE EMERGING, TALENTED ARTISTS TO SHOWCASE THEIR ART IN A PRIME LOCATION AND WITH A FULL SERVICE OFFERING THAT REMOVES ALL THE DIFFICULTIES OF SETTING-UP AND RUNNING AN ART BUSINESS. OUR SIMPLE AND AFFORDABLE “ALL-INCLUSIVE LICENCE FEE” ALLOWS TALENTED ARTISTS TO TAKE THEIR FIRST STEP INTO THE PROFESSIONAL ART ENVIRONMENT WITHOUT LONG-TERM COMMITMENTS; ARTISTS MAINTAIN COMPLETE CONTROL OVER THEIR CREATIVE LICENCES, PRICING (WITH OUR PROFESSIONAL ASSISTANCE) AND PROFITS. DEBUT CONTEMPORARY NOT ONLY OFFERS EMERGING ARTISTS AN AFFORDABLE OPPORTUNITY TO SUCCEED IN THEIR CREATIVE CAREERS, BUT ALSO LOOKS SET TO DELIVER A DYNAMIC AND STIMULATING GALLERY EXPERIENCE THAT HAS NOT PREVIOUSLY BEEN SEEN, IN THIS PARTICULAR FORMAT.”
The whole grisly, depressing site and what’s written on it pretty much hoists them by their own petard, but I will leave you with a few questions:
From this list (http://www.debutcontemporary.com/debut-alumni) of DEBUT ALUMNI, how many have had a consistent record of commissions, sales, group or solo exhibitions, or other working opportunities subsequently? That they didn’t pay for our of their own pocket, I mean? Getting a brief mention in a sidebar of Marie Claire also doesn’t count as an exhibition… sorry. Unfortunately this kind of information is not available on Debut Contemporary’s site.
Do you think these testimonials from ART EXPERTS are convincing or show any semblance of objectivity and/or credibility? (http://www.debutcontemporary.com/art-experts)?
“DUE TO THE RECESSION AND HIGH UNEMPLOYMENT”, do we think it’s appropriate that only those with money to burn can try to buy their way in to a profession that most of the people who actually work in it agree should be about artistic merit?
Is an artist really an artist if they’ve bought the opportunity to “SHOWCASE THEIR ART IN A PRIME LOCATION AND WITH A FULL SERVICE OFFERING THAT REMOVES ALL THE DIFFICULTIES OF SETTING-UP AND RUNNING AN ART BUSINESS”? Surely this makes them a hobbyist, a customer, and not a professional artist?
In this weird photo, also from the Debut Contemporary site, are we witnessing white-coated, scientific art mentoring? Or did the unfortunate woman on the right wake up eight hours later in a public toilet thirty miles away, with no memory, an empty bank account and missing a kidney?