Two recent articles from the ‘Times’ have me thinking yet again. Both, at least in my mind, ask a question. Neither of which I have an answer for and, quite honestly, I don’t know if there is an answer for either. I just though I would throw the links out there and make you think about it so I can stop. I have other things to do!
The first was about a work by the artist Caleb Larsen titled 'A Tool to Deceive and Slaughter'. It contains a program that will relist it on ebay every week in perpetuity. You could own it for a week, a month, or forever. But is it art if it can ‘think’? Maybe not think in a literal sense but think just the same. Can anything be called ‘art’ just because the person making it is artist and has a degree that says so?
The other was an article, more an essay, on anonymous bidding on art auctions. An anonymous telephone bidder recently paid 106.5 million dollars for Picasso’s 'Nude, Green Leaves and Bust,' a painting he did in just one day in 1964. This is now the most ever paid for a painting. Anonymous bidding was a pet peeve of an ethics professor I once had. He tried to make us think about the morality of it. His though being that it is a crime against ‘art’ to pay tens of millions, and now a hundred million, on a painting to hang on your wall, maybe never to be seen in public again. "At least tell us your name" he would say. As the article itself says “I wished someone like that would give $100 million to the New York Public Library and just let it go at that.”
Art That Sells Itself
The Coy Art of the Mystery Bidder
ebay, 'A Tool to Deceive and Slaughter'
(The ebay link is just search for the work because, as i write this, there are only three hours left on the current auction. There is one bid for $6858. *shrugs.)
tuneage, The Kills - Black Balloon