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Who Is the Best-Looking Museum Director?

Marina, Marina, on the wall (ok, screen), who’s the fairest museum director of them all? “Glenn Lowry is really one of the best-looking directors, because he takes care of himself,” Marina Abramović tells Andrew Goldman in a rollicking Q&A that will appear in this Sunday’s New York Times Magazine. “It’s true! I mean, look at the other ones. They are all overweight.” (We hear that the Museum of Modern Art honcho, pictured, keeps trim by balancing his love of ice cream with his passion for cycling.) They land on this topic after Goldman queries the artist about the potential “career calculus” of an e-mail she apparently sent to Lowry (before landing her MoMA retrospective) thanking him for coming to dinner and complimenting his “sexy” physique. “You’re like Rupert Murdoch! Who sent this e-mail? I don’t remember that I said this,” she replies, later adding, “I didn’t get that show because I said that Glenn Lowry is sexy. I think it was much more about the quality of the work.” Meanwhile, she’s less than enamored with MoMA these days. This exchange leads off the Q&A:

Watching the new documentary about you, The Artist Is Present, got me curious about the economics of performance art. In 2010, you did a show at the Museum of Modern Art, where you sat for 700 hours, staring at visitors. It was seen by as many as 750,000 people, and during that time the museum collected millions in receipts. Did you get a cut of the door, like a musician?
I got so little I don’t even want to tell. I was paid an honorarium of exactly $100,000. It covered one year of my work, plus how much I pay for assistants and office rent.

That seems low.
I made an enormous installation out of the project, which took me one and a half years and some of my own money. They should have this major piece, but they completely ran over me.


And speaking of attractive museum directors, the Guggenheim’s Richard Armstrong sat down with The Art Newspaper at Art Basel to discuss the new Guggenheim UBS Map Global Art Initiative. Watch how his eyes twinkle when he talks about emerging regions, “multi-year ambitions,” and the Silk Road!

Previously on UnBeige:
Marina Abramović Documentary Coming to Film Forum and HBO
Marina Abramović, Koolhaas’ OMA to Convert Old Theater into Performance Art Institute
Marina Abramović’s ‘The Artist is Present’ Becomes Video Game
Marina Abramović Is on Fire

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