Jeffrey Deitch to appear on '60 Minutes' on Sunday
Jeffrey Deitch, the director of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles and former art dealer, will appear on CBS' "60 Minutes" this Sunday as part of a segment that looks into the boom in the contemporary art market. But will Deitch appear in his capacity as the head of a nonprofit museum, or as an art-market insider?
Some of both, it seems. Sunday's segment is a follow-up to Morley Safer's 1993 story about the contemporary art scene titled "Yes... But is it art?" In the old segment, Safer questioned whether certain pieces qualified as art. The broadcast turned out to be one of the most "controversial stories in our 44 years on the air," according to the veteran correspondent.
The new segment visits Art Basel in Miami Beach for a look at current art prices and to ask why the art market has managed to outperform the S&P 500 index in recent years.
In a brief excerpt on the "60 Minutes" site, Deitch talks with Safer about the rise in prices of certain artists. He notes that in 1993, a Jeff Koons work was "very well sold at $250,000." These days, a Koons work can command $25 million or more, he said.
Art dealers Larry Gagosian and Tim Blum -- who co-owns the Blum & Poe gallery, located in L.A. -- are also interviewed in the segment.
Deitch became director of MOCA in 2010. Prior to that, he was owner of Deitch Projects in New York, where he represented a number of prominent and hip young artists. His appointment to a major nonprofit museum was seen as controversial because of his commercial art-world ties.
-- David Ng
Photo: Jeffrey Deitch at the Museum of Contemporary Art in L.A. Credit: Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times