Helguera’s Index (2007)


(* Originally published in Art on Paper, 2007)

Average cost of the American Pavilion’s opening party for the Venice Biennale: $250,000
Total budget for the Havana Biennial: $250,000

Disneyland’s attendance in 2004: 13.3 million
Years that it would take the LA MOCA to reach Disneyland’s 2004 rate at current attendance rates: 43

Estimated number of volunteers at Spencer Tunicks’ nude photo shoot in Mexico City’s main square: 18,000

Percentage of people in the art world who think panel discussions are boring: 74%
Percentage of people in the art world who believe that contemporary art does not contribute to the public political dialogues in a significant way: 79%

Average tuition cost for a 4-year BFA at the School of Art Institute of Chicago, along with living expenses: $162,480
Number of years that it would take to repay a school loan of this amount, including interest, with monthly installments of $350: 44
Estimated amount of artists who still make art ten years after leaving art school: 10%
Estimated amount of art school graduates who succeed financially: 1%
Estimated amount who also succeed critically: 0.2%

Amount of sale of Jasper Johns’ “False Start” in 2006, the highest price ever paid at auction for a living artist’s work: $80 million
Number of people in Burundi who could cover their living costs for one year with this amount: 200,000

Number of New York elected officials who defended The Drawing Center’s ousting from the new Freedom Center complex after the New York Post claimed that it showed “anti-American” art: 0

Percentage of people in the art world who feel that people in the art world publicly support each other but secretly antagonize each other: 53%
Percentage of people in the art world who feel that people are not sincere when they socialize at an art opening: 87%
Percentage of those who often pretend they know an artist when they actually don’t for the fear of being looked down upon: 50%

Number of pages of advertising in the Summer 2007 issue of Artforum: 281
Ratio of advertising to editorial: 2.4

Monthly salary for a curator at the Centro Wilfredo Lam in Havana: $55
At this rate, number of curatorial salaries that J. Paul Getty Museum’s director James N. Wood’s $1.34 million salary could fund: 2,030

“Representation fee” that Agora Gallery in New York charges artists: $3,000

Average amount a performance artist gets paid to perform in the US: $500
Average amount writer Malcolm Gladwell requests as a speaking fee: $30,000
Fee that the Guggenheim Museum charges to conduct a feasibility study for a Guggenheim in any given city: $1,000,000,000

Commission percentage that Damien Hirst’s Mexican gallery takes from the sale of his works: 5%

Estimated number of people working at Jeff Koons’ studio: 50
Total staff at Bronx Museum: 30
Number of assistants James Rosenquist hires to help make his paintings: 0

Number of Google hits for the Venice Biennale: 1,200,000
Number of Google hits for The Museum of Bad Art, an online museum: 9,510,100

Sources: Hermetic Lounge art world poll, 2004; artcritical.com; New York Times GDP stats; ocregister.com; Ford foundation museum stats; artnet.com; SAIC’s tuition costs from the institution’s website, Saatchi gallery forum, Bloomberg.com.