The 72-year-old Irish novelist John Banville—who also uses the nom de plume Benjamin Black—has enjoyed commercial success along with critical acclaim and has been mentioned as a possible Nobel Prize winner. But in an interview with Martina Fuchs, he says that he’s always steered clear of politics in his work. “If you put politics into art, you get bad politics and bad art,” he says. “I have no message. All I want to give to readers is delight and a heightened sense of what it is to be alive in this strange planet that we’ve been cast upon.” He also tells Fuchs, „My biggest struggle is always to try to get the sentence right.”
Collecting art on a shoestring
Erling Kagge is best known for climbing Mount Everest and walking to the South and North Pole. Besides being an explorer, Kagge is a passionate art collector and author. He writes about how to collect great art with little money in his book “A Poor Collector’s Guide to Buying Great Art.” Tanya König met him during the Engadin Art Talks in Zuoz to find out how.
Sigh of relief after Art Basel cancels Hong Kong show
Swiss art galleries have voiced relief at Art Basel’s decision to call off its fair in Hong Kong next month—and not just because of the health risk. While the fair is usually one of their most lucrative events, exhibitors were concerned about breaking even this year amid coronavirus fears and political unrest.
Why Montreux Jazz Festival launched its own media company
The Montreux Jazz Festival has just launched a media venture that will include video, podcasts, and even vinyl records, among other things. We speak to Nicolas Bonard, CEO of the new subsidiary, to find out how they are exploring a new stream of revenue and how they’ll try to monetize their rich archive.
The Verbier Art Summit goes global
Anneliek Sijbrandij founded the Verbier Art Summit four years ago during a sabbatical from her job as tax lawyer. Now the platform has expanded to Brazil, with the U.S. and China next in line. The aim is to drive change and foster dialogue between curators, artists and the public. Sijbrandij also tells Tanya König why she doesn’t engage galleries or auction houses as sponsors.
Casey Neistat: Social media is where you’re relevant today, nobody tomorrow
With over 11 million subscribers on YouTube, Casey Neistat is an online celebrity. The filmmaker and content creator spoke at the Swiss Innovation Forum in Basel yesterday on how he built his online business. Tanya König asked him about the growing influencer business and when he turns down lucrative deals.
In vino veritas: the truth about investing in fine wine
This month, two auction houses—Christie’s and Dobiaschofsky—had total wine sales in the millions, and a new “wine bank” just opened in Switzerland, further proof that fine wine is increasingly becoming a sought-after alternative investment. Tanya König finds out why, despite its volatility, some investors are looking to wine to diversify their portfolios.
Ai Weiwei: “Selling art is a very strange business”
“The value of art is very hard to determine” and it can’t be rationalized, says Ai Weiwei, the Chinese artist and activist, who calls himself “a top businessman.” He discusses when he refuses to sell an artwork, the price of his activism, and why the U.S.-China trade war won’t end up as just a trade war.