Saturday, May 13, 2017

A Portrait of the Artist as Con Artist

Here’s some fun for those who love art. Or who love feces. Or who love both art and feces. Jonah Goldberg has explained how an artist can become a con artist, and how rich people will buy his work… the better to show that they belong to the intellectual elite. To be fair, some of these rich people see this art like penny stocks. They get richer by selling it to richer people for fortunes.

Goldberg wrote:

I’ve always thought that some modern artists are also con artists. They create something so strange, so aesthetically alien, that insecure rich people assume it must be a work of a genius, so they’re willing to spend vast sums to convince other people that a) they can afford to indulge in it, and b) they’re members of the cognoscenti, too. The greatest example of this is probably Piero Manzoni’s Merda d’artista. In 1961, Manzoni literally crapped in a can — 90 tins to be exact. He printed out labels for the cans that read:

Artist’s Shit
Contents 30 gr net
Freshly preserved
Produced and tinned in May 1961

In a touch that no novelist would dare attempt, Manzoni’s father, who actually owned a cannery, told his son: “Your work is sh**.” It was a pas de deux of taking something both literally and seriously.

It was a pas de deux of taking something both literally and seriously. Last August, Manzoni’s canned feces sold at auction for 275,000 euros.

No wonder people in the art world do not trust the free market.


Sam L. said...

Another example of the insanity of "the rich".

Ares Olympus said...

Market values seem to have some sort of religious significance, in the sense of money being the root of all evil, and so why not test the limits of this idolatry?

Funnily Goldberg brings up the con artist artists in relation to Donald Trump's self-referential antics.

And I also recall how Trump paid an artist to paint a portrait for himself, and then used his Trump Foundation to buy the portrait with other people's money. That's almost as low down as a jar of excrement.

I notice Goldberg ends with an issue of "external self awareness" from a previous topic. Trump either has no idea or doesn't care, or intentionally loves that he can regularly humiliate his spokes people by telling them to sell one false narrative, and then admitting something closer to the truth when reporters actually talk to him and help him sort out the truth in his mind.

Goldberg ends with a challenge to Trump's enablers:

Golderg: The smart — never mind honorable — response from conservatives to all this should be the Jerry Maguire response. Rather than rationalizing and enabling this behavior, conservatives should be doing everything they can to convince Trump that he’s his own worst enemy. Mike Pence would do himself, his party, and his country a favor by telling Donald Trump, “If you humiliate me like that again, I will resign and run against you in 2020.” It may not work. But it’s a far better approach than bending over and shouting, “Thank you, sir! May I have another!?”

Anonymous said...

Make the Ares comments stop.