Magazine article The New Yorker


Magazine article The New Yorker


Article excerpt

The art dealer Charles Saatchi spends a lot of time sitting at his desk. You might, too, if your desk were more of a table, capacious enough to occupy almost an entire wall of a parlor-floor room in your Belgravia town house; if its placement allowed you to hear snatches of birdsong and to look onto leafy Eaton Square; if its surface were laden with monographs, notebooks, a pewter platter of cookies, several bright-colored plastic cigarette lighters, and a Mrs. Potato Head toy.

In the midst of this tableau, Saatchi's computer, a black flat-screen desktop, occupies a clutter-free zone toward the front. In the past, he didn't use it much--"I can Google things up, and that's about the extent of it," he said--but, lately, he has been spending three hours a day pecking away at his gallery's ever-expanding Web site. "This site happened only because I had nothing to do," Saatchi, who is sixty-three, said. He has been waiting almost a year for the construction of a new gallery in London, and, in the meantime, he explained, the young people in his life suggested that he stake a claim on the Internet. "Oh, yes, I see, this is the modern world," he recalled, of his awakening. "I was kicked by my staff, who said, 'Oy, wake up,' and by my daughters, who called me a double loser," he said, splaying both thumbs and forefingers into L-shapes, and smacking them against his forehead.

A year ago, Saatchi launched Your Gallery, a free online forum where anyone in the world can create a profile page and display his or her art work. "I'm hoping that the site is encouraging to people who find the art world a little daunting," he said. Within a month, thirteen hundred artists had signed up, and Saatchi followed with STUART, a spinoff page focussing on student artists. Next came a magazine, a street-art gallery, a debate forum, and


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Article details

Publication: The New Yorker

Volume/issue: Vol. 83, No. 14

Publication date: May 28, 2007

  • Visual artists
  • Web sites
  • Internet
  • Art dealers
  • Art
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