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Today’s Links (4/12/04)

Posted at 10am on 04/12/04 by Jack Mottram to the links category.
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  1. I went to that “Stinking Art Piss” shop. It’s near a place where I sometimes eat lunch. It is the perfect marriage of art and commerce, cool and calculation, grafitti and profit. I stayed in the shop for about a minute, regarding the various photos of graffiti quips, observing the sales assistant making a series of rapid transactions for various prints. I considered how long this shop would stay open and who actually was paying for the cleaning of all the walls that the artist was profiting from defacing.
    This isn’t art. Art should say something about society, about people, about ideas. These prints are accessories. They are designed to be sold for profit, bought by a rich young individual and hung in their loft apartment. They would suggest that the owner is rebellious and “street”. They are all about the individual. See for more examples of this kind of expensive product masquerading as art. Pete Fowler is the perfect example. Don’t mean to sound bitter, but the term artist should be used more reservedly.

    Posted by Donny at 11am on 05.12.04

  2. I know what you mean, Don, but I suspect that, if honest, all collectors would probably admit that their motivation for buying ‘proper’ art includes some of the less pleasant aspirational aspects you mention…

    I mean, the only thing on my walls just now is this print by Martin Boyce, which I bought because I’d seen various permutations of the piece in different shows over a couple of years, and found myself thinking about it a lot, unable to get a proper grip on what it was all about, but I’m sure some unsavoury part of my brain was also attracted by the impression that having this particular print might have on people seeing it on my walls. (Not because of who it’s by particularly, but because it’s a text piece, it has an angled grid on it, the typeface has a certain rigid geekiness about it, it’s by a Glasgow artist, etc etc.)

    Then again, the next piece I’m planning to get will probably give the impression that I’m a sexual deviant in need of a good decade of Freudian analysis, and I’m still going to buy it!

    Posted by Jack Mottram at 6pm on 05.12.04

  3. well
    art is always bought by rich people; always has been. indeed the patronage of the wealthy tends to facilitate creativity across the board.
    (though there is also now the patronage of the poor, of course, in the form of lottery money.)
    that said, I have an acquaintance who is a Artist and his Art consists of taking pretty photos of other people’s graffiti and framing them nicely and charging millions of quids for them.

    i do have a strong sense of HMMM about this.
    duchamp’s urinal
    or just pish?
    sort of makes me think of when you read in Vogue - or The Guardian ‘s sick-making gosh-isn’t-TopShop-just-fabulous fashion pages - that the latest way for ditzy Hampstead tarts to keep their abs in trim is to pole dance.
    ‘i say, sienna, let’s pretend to be sex workers - what larks!!’
    next week: lose unwanted pounds with the blow jobs and crack diet!
    (works for kate moss)

    speaking of which (sort of): is jeremy deller really that HANDSOME, or is that just an awfully flattering press shot he uses??

    Posted by hannah at 12am on 07.12.04

  4. his Art consists of taking pretty photos of other people’s graffiti and framing them nicely and charging millions of quids for them

    That would be documentary photography, not art, then? (Obviously not mutually exclusive - see Janet! - but if that’s all he’s doing it sounds… weak.)

    Re: patronage - I think Don was objecting to the commodification, or the false elevation of consumer objects to the status of ‘art’, not the status of the buyer.

    And, yes, Mr. Deller is quite the handsome fellow, in a weaselish way.

    Artists tend to be good-looking nowadays, though traditionally they were ugly, which is something I keep meaning to write about. It all has to do with the rise of Abstract Expressionism, art world axis shift from Europe to the US, and (CIA-sponsored) promotion of individualist culture (cf. orchestra - big band - quartet - rock ‘n’ roll band - solo artist transition in music as a means of increasing profits and defeating Communism - © I. Svevonius)

    Posted by Jack Mottram at 11am on 07.12.04

  5. Ooh I don’t know about that handsomeness claim - did you see the lineup of wee Mod Inst grunts in the Saturday Herald on, er, Saturday? Sorry to any of them who read here, but they looked like scurvy-ridden feral children who had grown up on a dung heap. Near a charity shop. And garnered their only impressions of civilised society from old Belle and Sebastian album covers.
    That’s maybe a Glasgow thing rather than an art thing, however.
    I seem to remember once noting that one of the Chapman brothers was quite attractive.

    I expect handsome Mr Deller would be with you on the big band issue, no…?

    Posted by hannah at 10pm on 07.12.04

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