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Fun became serious..

In the German language serious is also a name: Ernst

Ernst Beyeler was a co-founder of Art Basel and was one of the most important figures in the art trade

Georg Baselitz Art Basel 2023 © Alexander Palacios
Georg Baselitz Art basel 2023

Many of us know this saying and as an artist I would like to use it to draw attention to social issues. Especially in our western world, an unfortunate trend has developed that turns everything valuable, love, creative and inspiring into an investment. It seems as if art no longer serves anything other than making money and gold. The manager would now say need and demand.

It is now June 2023 and Art Basel is taking place under fantastic weather in Basel and the surrounding area. Basel shows its most beautiful side during Art Basel and really blossoms, it is colorful, the restaurants are full, the city has a lot to offer and in addition to the various art fairs Volta, Art Basel, List, Photo and many more It's certainly exciting to watch the people who come from all over the world.

As an artist, however, I look at the development of Art Basel and everything surrounding it with increasing sadness. Art should be flexible, open, inspiring, full of passion and make you think. But in my opinion, art is being violated and is only being used as a curtain to increase a huge construct of power and money. It's about millions of dollars, Swiss francs, euros, crypto or other currencies. 2.5, 5 million are numbers that are quickly thrown around, like an old gentleman next to me with his younger advisors.

The objects that are sold in the art world may have a certain material and art historical value, but in my view they miss the actual social value. This is partly confirmed by the way they are handled: "If they are such valuable works of our history, then there should be a ban on storing them in bonded warehouses and holding them like stocks and only viewing them as investments, right?" Don't get me wrong, I wish everyone economic success and I can understand if you want to speculate, but anything that gets extreme is not good for a society and art only has value if it is visible, it helps us as people and society to understand better . Certainly none of the deceased artists would want their work to end in a "hermetically" sealed room!

If art couldn't be speculated on, it would be such a success, what do you think?

The alienation of art, once a medium of self-expression and creative expression, is increasingly becoming a means to generate profit. The art world has become a playground of decadence in which the artists themselves are often marginalized; many can't even afford admission to Art Basel. Instead of freely realizing our ideas, we are controlled by commercial interests. Those with enough money determine what is considered valuable and meaningful. This alienation of art has resulted in the original essence and passion being lost. And as with everything in human history, the masses rule and many run behind. I could give countless examples of this, but everyone would say: "No, not me"

Richard Avedon Art Basel Unlimited 2023 © Alexander Palacios
Richard Avedon Art Basel Unlimited

Similar to art, living space and city districts are becoming a plaything of commerce. The artists who grew up and lived in these neighborhoods to create their works of art, born of suffering, hope and the unique charm of the neighborhood, are discovered and "Occupied" by the upper class. Suddenly these neighborhoods are seen as "cool" and "hip" because they have the urban charm that the elites are looking for and that is missing from their too-perfect world. But instead of acknowledging and supporting the residents and creators, they are pushed out and their identities erased because they can no longer afford premises. This decadence is clearly evident in the way people try to buy their way out of guilt by setting up charities/foundations, going to confession, or engaging in superficial acts of activism. A system like a democracy can only exist through coexistence. A ship is doomed if its comrades do not work together.

It is easier to sell a work of art for $1 million than for $10,000

The decadence we live in is a sad reality. Those who live beyond emotions probably only see art as a status symbol, opportunities and some kind of numbers to maintain their own power structures? But the real value of these things is lost in this way of thinking. It is a process in which the original creators are alienated with their creation while the economic aspect takes over.

It is time to recognize and address this unfortunate trend. We should appreciate more the value of art and inspiring living spaces and, above all, the different fates that every single person experiences, both positive and negative. Only with each other and with each other can we enrich and inspire each other and grow as a society.

Best regards

Alexander Palacios


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