February 11, 2016

How to Have an Art Overdose or Überdosis? Excess at the Art Bookstore

Sales rule at the art bookstore: "Good things are never cheap."

In the freelance business you need to brainstorm every few months for new projects. I do a reorientation like once a year, mostly in September. I also tend to do creative brainstorming for other people’s businesses. When I go to a café, as a curator I tend to come up with ways to improve the place aesthetically so it can attract more customers. Most of the time I have to keep these ideas for improvement to myself. There’s only one place where I dare to utter them and that is at the art bookstore, since I hang there a lot and I feel that as a loyal customer I may have my input in the business. The salespeople at the art book store have been quite resistant so far. They are appreciative about my engagement, so they tell me, but my ideas are not commercial enough. "What is better than profit?" salesperson S. asked me: "more profit!" 

Yet, a few weeks ago, a new salesperson started out at the bookstore and I thought I could use this blank page to my advantage to sell my ideas. While I was boasting to her about my great ideas for the art bookstore, the director of the museum came in and overheard me. I felt obliged to elaborate on one of my ideas, which involves Joseph Beuys, which happens to be the director’s specialization. It’s about making two packages of books - one tower of Andy Warhol books, which would be wrapped like a present and called “Over-Dose Andy Warhol,” and another tower of books called “Überdosis Joseph Beuys.” Both overdoses could be neutralized if you buy them together because you know how too much of an Andy Warhol is an over-dose and too much of a Joseph Beuys is an Überdosis, but both together are very digestable. This I know by experience. When I started out doing guided tours at the museum, the artist Wolfgang Müller explained to me the benefit of combining Warhol and Beuys one after the other. You see, Beuys and Warhol are complementary opposites. Whereas Warhol goes to the surface to dig for its hidden messages, Beuys starts on the opposite side, let’s say the roots then to go on to their substance. Giving guided tours, I enjoy shocking my (especially German) audience by calling Joseph Beuys the German Andy Warhol. Both were icons, like the Beatles in the music, and both had humor, which involves a certain surface, although you would think that, at first sight, Beuys is nothing but intense. 

The director clearly thought my overdose / Überdosis was a funny idea. I mean, he smiled, and I saw how P., who is in charge of the art bookstore, started to slightly reconsider his opinion about my proposal. Until now he hasn’t acted upon it, but I’ve good hopes that by Christmas time 2016 he will have done so. You can help me out by asking the sales people where you can buy that overdose or Überdosis. It will make them realise there's a substantial market of art lovers who are in urgent need of excess.

1 comment:

  1. Yes! Any books in particular? Partially asking because I am looking for a good biography to read...