Bulgarian-American Ranked Most Powerful Arts Person
An American with Bulgaria roots, Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, has topped the British magazine's Art Review's eleventh annual "Power 100" list of the most influential people in contemporary arts.
The Bulgarian-Italian, who was born in the US, is the first woman to lead the ranking.
Former winners include prominent people in arts such as Brit, Damien Hirst, Chinese, Ai Weiwei, and American gallery owner and collector, Larry Gagosian.
The 2012 title went to Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, who is little known outside the world of art, for her curating the marathon Documenta 13 art fair staged in Kassel in Germany. The art marathon is held there every five years and lasts 100 days. The 2012 edition spread over a number of parks, galleries, movie theaters, and Kassel's railroad station. It has been visited by 860 000 people.
Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev was born 1957 in Ridgewood, New Jersey, US, to an Italian mother and a Bulgarian father. The mother was an archaeologist and the father a doctor, who emigrated from Bulgaria after World War II.
Bakargiev lives in Washington DC. She is a writer, art historian and curator.
"I don't think you get extra points for being famous. Art is about people who have an influence over what other people are producing," Mark Rappolt, editor of Art Review is quoted saying.
He acclaims Christov-Bakargiev for the "global scale and great ambition" of Documenta, all while admitting that some members of the panel which came up with the ranking had argued for more commercial figures in the art world to be placed at the top.
"I think the power of money is always pushing, as it were, but she was a contender all along," Rappolt had said.
Gagosian, who was fourth in the 2011 ranking is now second, while last year winner Ai Weiwei is third, the Bulgarian news agency BTA reports Thursday. Gallery owners Iwan Wirth and David Zwirner are fourth and fifth.
The Russian punk band Pussy Riot entered the list for the first time this year as recognition for directing international attention to freedom of speech. The band ranked 57th.