ART STUFF on a train # 17: ‘How to Get In’

Most days art Critic Paul Carey-Kent spends hours on the train, traveling between his home in Southampton and his day job in Surrey. Could he, we asked, jot down whatever came into his head?

theft contemplation gagosian ART STUFF on a train # 17: ‘How to Get In’
A visitor contemplates the possibility of stealing one of Henry Moore’s large forms…

Every now and again I hear an artist wondering how they can get into a show. Artists aren’t always the most practical types, but actually it’s fairly straightforward. Points to look out for are that some small galleries are erratic in their opening hours and it’s best to phone first; entry intercoms can be a pain; there’s the odd gallery three floors up with an eccentric lift; and Gagosian’s doors are unusually heavy. That said, Larry does employ impressively muscular security with the dual function of opening the door and providing the art with an aura of value, even if – his Henry Moore show was a case in point – vandalism of any impact would be difficult and theft impossible without a at least a forklift truck.

So what is the best way of getting into the world’s top gallery? I recommend approaching too swiftly for the doorman to react, applying far more force than a casual opening would normally require, and then strolling through with cool independence. As for the related question, of how to get one’s work in… Assuming that, too, isn’t of a weight requiring heavy equipment, Banksy solved the matter some years back with his guerrilla placement strategies. Why do artists persist in asking these questions?

gag filename p1020698 large ART STUFF on a train # 17: ‘How to Get In’
… only to find there is a guard on duty

About Paul Carey-Kent

Art critic and curator, based in Southampton. I write most regularly for Art Monthly, Frieze, The Art Newspaper, Border Crossings, STATE, Photomonitor, Art Critical, ArtLyst... and, of course, FAD - when I'm on the train to and from my job in London as a health and social care financial policy analyst.

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