Page last updated at 06:26 GMT, Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Saatchi says 'don't be an artist'

Charles Saatchi
Publicity shy Saatchi will not appear on the programme

Charles Saatchi, the inspiration behind a new art talent search show, has warned against trying to make a career as an artist.

The collector told the Radio Times: "The odds are stacked very heavily against making a living out of it."

Saatchi, 65, added that he was "praying" that School of Saatchi would become a version of The X Factor for the contemporary art world.

The BBC Two programme includes artist Tracey Emin on the judging panel.

'Comfortable schizophrenia'

Critic Matthew Collings, art collector Frank Cohen and Barbican curator Kate Bush are the other three judges.

The eventual winner will be offered a place on Saatchi's touring exhibition and a studio space for three years, while the final six will take their place in a specially-created art school.

The notoriously publicity-shy Saatchi will not appear on camera during the series, which starts next Monday.

School of Saatchi panel
The School of Saatchi panel includes Tracey Emin (second left)

"I am neither shy nor voluble. I don't like going to parties, but I do like showing off my art. I am quite comfortable with my schizophrenia," he said.

He will have the ultimate say on the choice of artist and his thoughts will be relayed to the viewers by the panel.

Saatchi added that it was possible to find decently-paid work in the art world - until major art collector Larry Gagosian "pops in with his eyes misting over with joy when he sees your work, and says you are the next Jeff Koons".

When asked about the value of contemporary art, including controversial works like Emin's bed, Saatchi said: "Some people like the art, some people like being shocked by it. Everyone's happy."

The owner of London's Saatchi has become famous in recent years for his patronage of British contemporary artists including Emin and Damien Hirst.



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