By: Jessica Goddard
Barry Avrich’s Blurred Lines: Inside the Art World is a well-paced, informative documentary about the otherwise largely inaccessible world of producing, marketing, and selling high end art.
An impressive cast of interviewees (including big name artists, gallery directors, collectors, art critics and consultants) explain the economics of how art is bought and sold, while sometimes taking a stance on the ethics and sustainability of it all. Divided into neat segments (or “Lots”), the film takes viewers into auction houses, art fairs, museums, galleries, and more, in a way that is easy to follow and concise enough to be understood by those being introduced to this insular ecosystem for the first time.
The documentary includes thought-provoking quotes on the subject matter, as well as fun snippets from popular films that demonstrate just how easy this industry is to parody. When it becomes clear that the only folks getting fleeced in high end art transactions are the super wealthy, a healthy debate is presented as to whether the art world could use more regulation. Importantly, all of this is presented against the backdrop of some genuinely interesting, puzzling, and bizarre modern art.
Blurred Lines: Inside the Art World has the right energy and the right attitude to make this potentially dense subject matter into an animated and colourful experience in which the audience can’t help but learn.
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Jessica Goddard: @TheJGod