Monday, September 18, 2006

Art 4 Art'$ Sake?

Art For Art’$ Sake? – Our Contemporary Hero(ines)?


Based on a recent article in The Times of London with the title “French seek to reclaim (contemporary) art crown”; the writer Adam SAGE vaguely left it unsaid; “From whom were the French trying to reclaim the crown?”; the Brits or the Americans?

This forum would like to discuss anything art; so I thought I’d contribute my thoughts on the contemporary art market these days. Whether you are a king, prince or peasant it matters not a jot to me but if your eyes are influenced by the dollar-sign on the sale-tcket and not your taste; I’m afraid you would need a re-education course to know that the beauty of art is in the eye of the beholder and the price determinant factor seldom applies as the supply of money is only held in a few hands and therefore the buyers’ tastes should not purport to represent that of the general populace.

Having lived through the swinging sixties; we the “baby-boomers” seem to be willing to engage in a slow descent into the abyss of “bad taste”. Somehow, the art for the masses is always “dictated” by some big-mouth promoters with deep pockets, or backers with even deeper pockets, and ulterior motives to match. They are supported by armies of “so-called professionals” feeding off this food chain. The people at the bottom of this unhappy chain of information called “junk-fools” are happy to be wowed by the sycophantic critics who by putting a few extra naughts behind some young kid’s paintings have created a whole new print industry selling posters for years to come. Really, is there any more decency left in the art world out there without you throwing your big fat cheque-book(s) around Mr. Big Shot Collector(s)?

So, assuming you are not influenced by the dollar sign on the sale ticket; then I should invite you to a viewing experience here below so you could select from a crop of so-called “current hot named-artists” your favourite (or not) out of their recent creations. If you fail to be convinced; you could always refer to the list of the best prices paid according to the art-collectors at the end of this article to confirm you have not made a mistake!

Damien HIRST


Jacques de la VILLEGLE


The 10 Most Expensive Paintings Ever Sold

  • $135 million for Adele Bloch-Bauer I by Gustav Klimt (2006)
  • $104 million for Boy with a Pipe by Pablo Picasso (2004)
  • $95.2 million for Dora Maar with Cat by Pablo Picasso (2006)
  • $82.5 million for Portrait du Dr. Gachet by Vincent van Gogh (1990)
  • $78.1 million for Au Moulin de la Galette by Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1990)
  • $76.7 million for The Massacre of the Innocents by Paul Rubens (2002)
  • $71.5 million for Portrait de L'Artiste sans Barbe by Vincent van Gogh (1998)
  • $60.5 million for Rideau, Cruchon et Compotier by Paul Cézanne (1999)
  • $55 million for Femme aux Bras Croises by Pablo Picasso (2000)
  • $53.9 million for Irises by Vincent van Gogh (1987)
I am just glad that even though I am NOT advocating the appreciation of modern art to be based on the Auction Prices; one can tell that for some of the above artists the value of their current works that could affect future art market prices still has a long way to go; unless the 'madness' of the hot hedge funds operators decide otherwise! So, why not just close your eyes to those zeros and let your brain decide for you how enjoyable it is to see all these 'works' that are truly 'new' and 'creative'?


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