Watch Morley Safer’s Original Art World Takedown on ‘60 Minutes’

Mr. Koons. (Courtesy CBS)

CBS has been kind enough to upload the the segment of 60 Minutes that Morley Safer shot about the contemporary art world back in 1993. Given how infamous the segment is, it’s amazing how low-key and almost silly many of his criticisms seem today. He becomes exasperated about a blank canvas by Robert Ryman, a text painting by Christopher Wool (Rat, Rat, Rat) and a bunch of sculptures by Jeff Koons.

As Marion Maneker says over on his Art Market Monitor blog, it’s worth a watch if only to see so many of today’s art world heavyweights in their youth, particularly Jeff Koons, who was still honing his slick, corporate, deliriously bizarre explanations for his work. Here’s what he has to say about his sculptures of basketballs suspended in fish tanks: “I was giving a definition of life and death. This is the eternal. This is what life is like after death.”

Here’s the video:

Can’t wait for the sequel on Sunday evening.