News in the Art World
Are the Telegraph and Christies Seeing the Same Thing!
ALL About Art Sales in February
Don’t read the art news.
The art world news has become like reading “Tiger Beat”. It is all about the celebrity of the month and who is cool and who isn’t. Let’s talk and talk about people without any outward appearance of any in depth understanding of the world, but fit in the proper circles and off the prices go.
The artists of the past century had the fortunate place of being the first of their kind and so, for historical reasons and for pure name recognition in quite a few cases, garner huge sums at the auctions.
In many respects this is quite unfortunate, because rationality goes out the window. Chagall, Matisse, Picasso and quite a few others produced some really unremarkable stuff at times, not worthy of much admiration, yet able to scoop in vast amounts of cash from the art groupies who think that collecting expensive stuff by people that are dead and with a name elevates them in stature. Owning a Matisse or Picasso leads those dull cocktail parties to some interesting conversations, exposing one’s true intellectual and creative nature, though modesty prevents any revelations of one’s elevation to the pantheon of art.
Even so, after the spiritual revelations have succumbed to reality, the cold hard facts about liquidity and cash flow and return on investments cloy at the buyer whose interests in capitalistic endeavor brought about enough capital in the first place to reach such high summits. In the end it all boils down to the exchange rate, the strength of the dollar, and those wonderfully delicious profits.
Excuse my facetious ramblings about the current state of the art world and the journalists who report on the latest doings. Here are two reports, one from the Telegraph and one from Christies.com. Make what you will of them. Please note the contradictions.
The above featured image for this article, Amedeo Modigliani, Nu couché (Reclining Nude) (1917–18), received £113 million.