What began on gallerist Caryn Coleman’s new art blog as a brief post regarding Regen Projects’ Web site has, over the past month, developed into a debate about whether or not galleries are obligated to divulge their price lists to the general public — browsers, not buyers. This
freedom to express one’s views on art and the business thereof — no matter how sophomoric — is what sparked Coleman to start
art.blogging.la, an alternative to those serious publications aimed at an audience in the art-world clouds. (Cough . . . Art Forum . . . cough.) Some of the galleries advertising in those publications, she suggests, are catered to in the form of objective, non-discerning reviews. “It wasn’t always this way, but I think it’s become the safe, middle-of-the-road way to do it.” By blogging about local exhibitions, movements, techniques, artists and gossip, Coleman injects an element of spontaneity into an increasingly stale genre — and stirs things up in the process.
Along with husband Sean Bonner, co-creator of blogging.la, Coleman owns and manages sixspace, a gallery south of Staples Center with a roster of artists including, among others, Chad Robertson, Seonna Hong and Glen E. Friedman (whose photographs are currently on display). But art.blogging.la — abLA for short — is a side gig, one that Coleman hopes will provide a platform for virtual discussions that run the gamut from serious to purely indulgent. How will local museums be affected by possible budget cuts in the Cultural Affairs Department? Are the kids coming out of Art Center the next wave of significant artists in California? Is Jennifer Beals’ character in Showtime’s The L Word based in part on Ann Philbin, director of the UCLA Hammer Museum?
“I have more opinions about art than necessary,” says Coleman matter-of-factly. Which is a good thing, because although she recently enlisted writer Emily Ho to help broaden coverage, most of the content comes directly from Coleman. “I had heard that the new Gehry building downtown was reflecting so much light that the temperature of the surrounding buildings had been raised 15 degrees,” she posted recently. “Well, today we drove by it and saw some of the facade wrapped up. Guess you can’t think of everything.” Not Art Forum, no, but a relaxed home for wayward observations —
in other words, a real art forum.