I have a metaphysical theory that I call The Law of Maximized Irony:
In a nutshell, any set of initial circumstances will resolve to the state of greatest irony.
Case in point:
With increasing frequency we see incredulous stories about artists who’ve made careers out of cribbing other people’s work suing artists who have copied them. Is it flat out hypocrisy, or good business strategy — or both? Whatever is behind it, the story makes for a lot of really good laughs.
The whimsical Phillips de Pury & Company website is, as I’ve noted in the past, a remedy to prim auction house hem-haw. And I am pleased that Lot #1 of their Under the Influence auction of March 8, went for a full quarter of it’s estimated $100, 000 to hammer at $26,000 — the full proceeds of which, will benefit DonorsChoose.org, which sends dollars to classrooms with projects in need of materials and resources.
It is much the credit of PdP that they take on nonsense and give full fluff to the requisite irony.
Here’s the site description of Lot #1, in it’s full glory:
FULL PROCEEDS BENEFIT DONORSCHOOSE.ORG
STEPHEN COLBERT, SHEPARD FAIREY, ANDRES SERRANO AND FRANK STELLA
Portrait 5, Stephen(s), 2010
Inkjet on canvas, with acrylic spray paint, Sharpie, looked-at-edness of Frank Stella. Printed at 291 Digital in New York. Suitable for Framing. 47 x 36 in. (not available in metric) Signed “Andres Serrano” lower left.
ESTIMATE: AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST •
SOLD AT $26,000
PROVENANCE The Colbert Report
In an ambitious on-going work that calls to mind the sprawling constructed worlds of Matthew Barney and identity-questioning narratives of Sophie Calle, TV pundit and conceptual artist Stephen Colbert has been performing his site-specific installation, “The Colbert Report,”…
Perpetual claims of “record” sales prices for every tiny art genre, artist, and period make every evening sale an historic event.
With our new 3-second news cycles, and all the sweaty drama poured into the auction summaries, it is hard to imagine that that the art market really does map onto the broad stock market: Sotheby’s stock fell with the Japanese stock bubble at the tail end of the 80’s, dropped in front of the Nasdaq in the 90s, and then lead the fall in 2007, dropping swiftly in November, well ahead of the broad stock market which fell in December of that year and sloped downward at a more graceful pace.
Judging from recent reports one could definitely get the impression that the next boom is on, as we may have in May of 2010, only to waken to hand-wringing despair as we did in June and July. Now as we are watching a rocky climb back up again, it is wise to take each $17 Million dollar unregistered Warhol portrait with a grain of salt
This past week, Vandalog, and The New York Times (amongst very few others) reported on a very elite art viewing experience. This was not for folks with paddles, not for Armani-suited champagne-sippers, and not even for the hippest hipsters, consulting Flavor Pill and attending the latest Winkle and Balktick events.
Nope. This was for a select group of intrepid insiders. Journalists, who were, by invitation only, escorted into the unhallowed depths of our unfair city to view an art show that was created soley for, and in tribute to, art itself.
Popping up, all over the internet, like bald little mushroom heads in the corner of an overgrown garden, are dozens of buy-art-online sites. Their spores are in the air. There’s a new one every day, with offerings that cover the whole gamut of affordability, quality and snob appeal.
It’s time to match the couch, my friends — shamelessly, and in the privacy of your own homes; the way you shop for porn.
There are moments throughout the history of art, when, marveling at the latest aesthetic affront, the public, the critics, and even fellow artists have thrown up their hands and asked, “Where can we possibly go from here?”
And as art has grown ever more referential and every medium, self-referential— when there is nary an image that does not lay claim to a legacy of irony that is now generations deep: well: what can possibly come next?
When a big name collector “offloads” the art of a specific artist from his collection, it can, we have heard, have a chilling effect on the market for that artist’s work. Sometimes this makes the artist very angry. Sometimes things escalate.
All the same, Charles Saatchi feels that a collector should do as they will with the artwork they buy.
Asked about a long-standing rumor that he had “ruined” the career of Sandro Chia when he purged his collection all of his Chias at once, Saatchi said:
“At last count I read that I had flooded the market with 23 of his paintings. In fact, I only ever owned seven paintings by Chia. One morning I offered three of them back to Angela Water, his New York dealer, where I had originally bought them, and four back to Bruno Bischofberger, his European dealer, where, again I had bought those. Chia’s work was tremendously desirable at the time a all seven went to big-shot collectors or museums by close of day.”
Today MoMA announced the release of its new app for Apple’siPhone, and iPod Touch, now available on the App Store. It’s a free download that provides views of 32,000 works from the Museum’s collection, plus lots of very useful extras, including a dictionary of art terms, a database of artist bios, a calendar of exhibitions, film screenings, and events, and a variety of audio tours for youngsters, as well as for the visually impaired.
In the face of China’s rise to third-largest art market (slipping in ahead of an aggrieved France), Clare McAndrew, head of the Dublin-based consulting firm, Arts Economics, is “ looking at resale rights in Europe. There are real
worries in Europe. New markets like China emerging is very good for the market overall but difficult for countries, like the U.K. and France, that have been hampered by regulations and taxes. They have to compete not only against the U.S., which has fewer regulations, but also against countries, like China, that don’t have resale royalties.” (Via ARTINFO)
She also says that, as art becomes viewed more and more as a long term investment, speculators have been “shaken out.”
Fresh Paint NYC is a news source for street art, and street art events. Their announcement for theBrush Strokes show caught my eye because, like a lot of street art, it’s colorful and brave and really just flat out appealing. And that’s refreshing. Yes it is.