The New York Observer is getting into the art game with the launch of a new site, GalleristNY.com. Launching tomorrow, GalleristNY will focus on the city’s art scene, all with the patented Observer delivery.
“The art world, which just a few decades ago comprised, ‘4,000 heavily medicated human beings,’ to borrow critic Dave Hickey’s phrase, has grown dramatically in recent years, and is growing still, becoming a multi-billion-dollar industry that stretches around the world,” explained the site’s Editor, Andrew Russeth, via email. “And yet art journalism has not scaled at the same speed. We think people are looking for a serious and yet entertaining take on these far-reaching changes, a public forum that mirrors the industry’s wider changes.”
Elizabeth Spiers, the Observer’s Editor-in-Chief, told FishbowlNY that the launch was the natural progression of the paper’s art coverage. “It’s something we do well and there’s a great opportunity to do a comprehensive news-oriented arts site that gives readers up-to-date information and an interesting perspective on what’s happening,” added Spiers. The name — GalleristNY — is a nod to the art world, said Sarah Douglas, the Observer’s Culture Editor. This too (of course) comes with an Observer twist.
“‘Gallerist’ is a neologism the art world pretty much invented a few years ago as a substitute for ‘art dealer,'” Douglas said. “We are reinventing it yet again, or at the very least appropriating it, to designate ourselves. [We’re] people who frequent galleries — whether they be commercial art galleries, galleries in museums, galleries in auction houses, or, say, the galleries that parks become when installed with public art projects — and comment on and analyze what goes on in them.”
If GalleristNY is anything like they promise, the New York art world is about to get put on notice. As Douglas explained, there will be no hand-holding. “We plan to operate according to the time-honored New York Observer motto, ‘Nothing sacred but the truth.'”