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As we are fast approaching the end of 2016 I wanted to take a moment to think about the year that went by. I have to admit that it is very hard for me to imagine that 2016 is already almost over.
What a year for us at Whitewall but also what a year for the world—the positive outcome of so many of our new initiatives and new projects cannot compensate for the dark reality of the world we live in. While the worst is taking place in Aleppo (and the entire migrant crisis related to it), how can we cope with Brexit first and then the election of Donald Trump as the next president of the United States?
I wanted to address these issues right at the beginning of this short review of the year because I want to make it clear to all, that these three events have conditioned my reading of 2016.
The art world is a very impressive community which has its flaws but can also act as a beacon of hope. As we progress as a company, and as I personally discover this world, I am amazed by the diversity encountered on my travels.
This year began with the local New York art scene before trips to Texas and then to California to work on the launch of the special L.A. issue of Whitewall and the first ever Whitewaller for Dallas. During these trips I met open-minded, fully-committed, and enthusiastic art collectors willing to take risks to help promote emerging artists bent on conveying the most challenging political messages.
Europe was next with its own challenges before and after Brexit. Paris was still reeling from the attacks but felt determined to recover. Berlin and Vienna we found booming while still anguished. But I am happy to say that I found these three cities to be particularly invigorating. Never have I been so profoundly challenged in my convictions as through my discovery of unknown spaces in my own European backyard.
There is so much creativity around and such a will to transform social contexts while also influencing political debates, opening doors through dialogue, and having a positive impact on the world around us, that I cannot resolve myself to be pessimistic even in the light of my opening words.
We in the art world live in a bubble, not necessarily the financial one that everyone predicted, but in a culturally open and fearless one. It is up to us to ensure that we double our efforts to educate, reassure, and accompany all those artists who do not want to leave the world in the hands of those’ who thrive on fear, close-mindedness, and racism.
2017 will be a challenging year but I am quite sure we are equipped and ready for these fundamental fights whether here in the U.S. or abroad. We are determined to bring our vision, our values, and our hopes with us wherever we will be traveling to participate in art fairs and biennales.
Bring it on 2017! Our fears will never overcome our hopes. United in the art community, we can impact and help change the world for the best.
In challenging times, artists emerge with their best and most profound work. So I am sure we can expect 2017 to be a great year for art…a silver lining in the clouds.