My Name is Charles Saatchi, recently published by Phaidon Press, is a compilation of answers to over 200 questions the reclusive art collector, gallery owner and founder of a global advertising agency has been sent over the years. While we have not yet had the chance to look through this book, it promises to be an entertaining account to anyone with an interest in the world of contemporary art. (Update: what a great read! An irreverent, but not irrelevant look at the art world by an extremely well-placed insider.) Some of the questions include:
• How do you decide whether something is worth £10 or £10 million?
• So much contemporary art looks the same to me. Am I missing something?
• Do you think you have messed up anybody's life by flogging off all their work?
• Is too much art now about shock value rather than creativity, like Tracey Emin's unmade bed?
• How can you tell a good Picasso from a bad Picasso? Come to that, how can you tell a good Damien Hirst from a bad Damien Hirst?
• How do you choose what to buy? Is it about what you like, or will you buy things you don't like as an investment?
• With Mark Rothko's paintings, people say that they evoke 'infinity'. Do you see it this way?
• What advice do you and your wife give to your children?
• You were born in Baghdad. What's your view on the war and the suffering of the Iraqi people since Bush and Blair decided to invade?
• You've been successful at discovering new artistic talent. But are there not always great artists who go undiscovered?
Paperback, 160 pages. Phaidon 2009. $9.95 at Amazon.