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September 17, 2008

2 Days and 250 Million Dollars Later...

It's quite naive to think that artists are the sole creators of their work. They have an idea, but if they have a large team of co-workers, or preside over a team of people, is it all about them? But as is always the case, the 'head artist' is the one that is blessed with fame. David Hirst, to me, may differ from Andy Warhol in terms of style, but they're both similar in the way they create art - by having 'staff' to help them create it; it's very difficult to admit a dislike for Andy Warhol's work, but I don't think Warhol a big deal and I can understand why whacko feminist Solanas tried to shoot him dead - when she didn't fit into his 'clique' and cast her aside, she didn't know what to do. I've never liked his work and loathed high school art classes during my teacher's Warhol moments. When I told my art teacher in my senior year in high school, she thought me a philistine, but I couldn't see the art in recreating something like a Campbell's Soup can. Warhol didn't create the design but because he reproduced it, it was 'oh wow,' and made artsy New Yorkers wet their pants. I guess many of them hadn't visited The Louvre. Such artists take the credit, and others that work beneath them remain anonymous, and I guess this part of art irritates me because art, unlike other industries tends to focus on the individual (artist). It's not like the fashion industry, let's say, where one designer takes the credit after sweat shops put clothes together and/or assistant designers do the grunt work.

The latest update (total financial tally) on the David Hirst sale at Sotheby's boggles the mind, but the other thing that caught my eye was this:

"Last year the artist, who works with a team of about 200, sold a platinum skull encrusted with 8601 diamonds for £50 million in a private sale. It is thought to be the world's most expensive piece of contemporary art."

Ergo, it takes 200 people to make David Hirst, David Hirst, and it's now, after months of reading interviews with art curators, some of whom have critiqued his work, that I can see the portion of critics do have a point. Did Picasso have 200 people working under him? Did Dali? Did Vincent Van Gogh? Did Henry Moore? Did Leonardo da Vince or Michaelangelo?

Another quote from the SMH article:

"Not everyone was happy with this week's auction. The Stuckist art movement, which promotes figurative art as opposed to conceptual art, said buyers were mad to buy Hirst's work at such prices."

Now, if I refer to my previous post, especially the final sentence, I wouldn't say 'mad' but stupid. One would have to be stupid (or pretentious to the point of stupidity) to fork out nine million pounds for a shark in formaldehyde. The irony is such that these ridiculous purchasers think they know about art because of the money they have to buy it, or they follow what pooncy gallery staff tell them is art (because the commission is stupendous - it beats working in a call center or a boutique ferrying clothes to socialites). Imagine the commission on a nine million pound shark in in formaldehyde?

I'm still toying with the idea of menstrual art; sticking an adhesive sanitary pad on a canvas and titling it "Day One: The Red Sea". (note: if you're an artist and you've read this, and it's tickled your mind and you copy it, I'll hunt you down and kill you).

What?

It could be called art...After all, didn't that other idiot create 'Piss Christ'? What the hell was that all about? He didn't need urine to do it. Photoshop could have sufficed, but without the urine there is no controversy is there?

 

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Comments

Andromache, I think it has been done!! LOL. Remember years back when you buy canned mountain air? People will buy anything!

Sometime soon, some idiot will bottle a fart and call it art.

It's been on my mind for quite a long time (the last twelve months). I've been a complete slackarse this past year, allowing other crap to interfere (like work-related stuff) but now that it looks like it's out of the picture, I'm slowly getting back in synch by taking up longhand writing again, that way I can just jot down stuff anywhere. It's a fair observation Jeff, I wouldn't delete your comment. The sex/erotica writing for me was a way to explore that side of things, explore, answer questions, etc, but in the last six or so months, I've felt like I had adequately explored that area via fiction writing and it was hard because of the subject matter in the earlier part of this blog. I don't mind reading other erotic fiction, but as for getting stuck into constructing sex scenarios, I haven't the energy for quite a while because inside me, I know there are other things I'd like to explore (that I set out to explore but was sidetracked), that I've always wished to explore in many ways, and returning to that state of mind has been challenging. It's like trying to locate a hidden marker or road sign.

I'm up to Mar12 06. I'm a slow reader. Can I make a suggestion? When you write fiction, try to go to places you have never been, and can only envisage, in your creative mind. Go to the 'what if' a bit more. There is no downside. It's fiction!! Go wild!! It will work! Doesn't have to be sex, to work. Explore your imagination! You have the talent. Just go further out there. You will win!! I haven't got to 'Incantation', yet. It's OK to delete this post, if you want to. I know you can, but I wouldn't be offended or anything.

Having been to The Louvre, and the Palace of Versailles, I can do a Ho Hum on David Hirst, and the amount of money? It's from people who have too much. Maybe David can redistribute it better.

Hey Charles...sorry about the misquote, I'll blame the Sydney Morning Herald for that one because of their article. I was shocked to read the total amount, after the completion of the sale. I thought the money at the beginning of the sale was silly enough, but (the AUD equivalent) the current total is beyond. It probably took Madonna a decade to earn that much money. Maybe it would have been easier if she shoved dead animals in formaldehyde.

I meant "stupid" actually.

Red Sea is funny.

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