Q/A Kenny Schachter

Can art still be fun?

Photo: Alexander Coggin

Art is like going to bathroom, it just comes out if that’s what moves and impassions you. Freud said one of a child’s first erogenous zones is pooping and similarly, art should feel good; it’s always been fun (and for me funny, too) with oftentimes a childhood connection and inclination. Even when the art world is at its most perverse and horrid (which is regularly), somehow I am still enthralled, amused and entertained. And I love it as much as the day I began three decades ago. At the expense of coming off corny, art is a gift to be shared, a visual vehicle of communication and language, in good times and bad – and are we ever in a global doozy. In fact, I don’t believe in anything other than art (and my family I’d be remiss not to mention) and feel blessed to participate on as many levels as I do. Art and the market are altogether different beasts (the market smells worse): sometimes their paths twine, others not (not for lack of trying by many), but the joy is (should be!) irrespective of the dough. In a period of unrivalled bedlam and insecurity, can art still be fun? Should it be? Art’s power goes beyond most things, amounting to an agent of change; and, in addition, an ameliorative force unto itself – art has been proven to have beneficial effects in healthcare. But there is still fun and funny even when tragedy strikes, like the present political worldwide (lack of) order. The transformative experience of looking at art, by nature suffused with humor and delight, is as important a resource as a remedy (and defense). And now, more so.

KENNY SCHACHTER is a writer, curator and art dealer. He lives in London.