You haven’t witnessed extravagance until you’ve seen a Russian oligarch up close. Here’s a collection of them, roaming their palatial homes and arriving at gala events in swanky sports cars, their “oligarchettes” wrapped in full-length ermine coats and flashing red-soled Christian Louboutins. Now conspicuous consumption has invaded the Russian art market, with players like billionaire investor Roman Abramovich and Stella Kesaeva, wife of a tobacco magnate, driving up prices and driving out buyers who can’t compete. The acquisitions serve another useful purpose: to hide the source of their fortunes, often procured in the shadow of post-Soviet power. Art and Oligarchs trails a group of newly minted collectors as they spend millions on acquisitions in a totalitarian state where the elite operate by a completely different set of rules.
A Brief History of John Baldessari
The epic life of the great conceptual artist—the man who promised the world he’d make “no more boring art!”—jammed into six brilliantly paced minutes. Narrated by Tom Waits and filled with offbeat, funny insights, this short gem is from Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman, the team behind 2010’s Catfish.
Henry Joost/Ariel Schulman. 2012. 6 m. NR. US. English. Supermarché.