The modern world thinks of art as very important, something close to the meaning of life. The symptoms of this elevated regard include the opening of new museums, the channelling of significant government resources towards the production and display of art, the desire on the part of the guardians of art to expand 'access' to works (especially for the benefit of children and minority groups), the prestige of academic art theory and the high valuations of the commercial art market.
34-year-old London-based Henny Acloque has experienced the death of her father and some close friends over the past five years and the re-evaluation she says to try to take positives from the deaths she believes has fed into her work at least subconsciously. Yet the drawings and paintings of Life After Magic are far from morbid.
TEFAF is 260 exhibitors, seemingly miles of corridors and countless objects, pictures and jewels to admire. But behind all of this sparkle lies a delightful human drama. It is the people that make this show happen, it is the daily flow of passing crowds and hurried meals and chance encounters that create a unique ambience.
It is now 7.30. I spot a slight corridor of a shop, more a kiosk than anything. It is a sliver of white marble on 6th called Zibetto. It is open and an elegant man of middle-age stands behind a gleaming Gaggia espresso machine of traditionally huge proportions. He is dapper in a blue shirt and smart, narrow, dark blue tie. He seems more than a barista.
An interesting article I read in the FT at the weekend made me think more about how important it is to encourage online communities to meet offline. In the article, 'Valley of God' the journalist April Dembosky investigates technology employees looking for religion in Silicon Valley. 43% of residents claim to be members of a religious institution.
Judging by the number of people visiting public art galleries - the figures are increasing year-on-year according to government stats - I reckon there must be an appetite for novels delving into the art business. I've compiled a list of 10 novels ranging from historical fiction and thrillers through to more philosophical writings.