My work went very well yesterday. I show it after a long paragraph in which I consider the state of today's art market, which is driven by the enormously wealthy (the same people who drive our global economy). Those who buy expensive art objects have their own manner of evaluating art. You be the judge. Are they as misdirected as they are in giving us our current economic turmoil? My art is a quest for expression through skillfully rendering my internal, and external, observations. My painting and drawings from yesterday demonstrate that I am getting better at doing this. Take a look at my work, then look at a couple of works by Damien Hirst, and one by David Hockney.
The January 23, 2012 issue of The New Yorker has a review of British artist Damien Hirst's 331 spot paintings by the art critique Peter Schjeldahl. Hirst's work is art because it is enticing, even though it does not require the skill I crave. Currently Damien Hirst is showing his complete "Spot Paintings" in eleven galleries around the world. It is amazing that multiple, major art galleries, want to show this work. They are not exhibited because of their quality, but because of their ability to sell and bring in major profits. To give you an idea what the art world is dealing with here, I show images of two of Hirst's works afer mine, including his iconic "Shark" and one of his spot paintings. Damien Hirst's work is selling briskly for enormous amounts of money; his damond-encrusted human skull had a price tag of fifty million pounds ($77,250,000). David Hockney, a British artist I respect and admire, is about to have an exhibition at the Royal Academy in London. Hockney is advertising his upcoming show with a poster which reads, "All the works were made by the artist himself, personally." This disclaimer is really about Damien Hirst's use of many assistants to make his many objects, including the spot paintings. In his review Schjedahl refers to a New Yorker cartoon from 1997 where two vultures on a bare branch argue, "Sure dead is important. But it has to taste good." Schjeldahl writes: "Deliberate deadness distinguishes Hirst's art, not only the famous pickled shark but everything he makes...." Reflecting on the reason wealthy art collectors want to own Damien Hirst's work, Schjeldahl says two things: Hirst "has recycled tropes from Marcel Duchamp, Surrealism, Francis Bacon, and numerous near-contemporaries...What may pass for meaning in the spot paintings is the sum of their associations in the history of abstraction. The more you know of that, the cleaverer the paintings might make you feel. Buying one, you hang it on your wall like a framed diploma from Smartypants U." and... "The deadness of Hirst's product lines—flipping the bird to anyone who naively craves more and better from art—upsets a lot of people. I deem their ire misdirected. Don't shoot the messenger. Hirst honestly vivifies a situation in which the power of money celebrates itself shedding all pretex of suppoting illiquid values." After Damien's Hirst's work I show one of David Hockney's paintings.
Two by Damien Hirst...
And one by David Hockney...
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