Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Justify this

I'm sitting here thinking about a conversation I had recently with an art dealer who was explaining to me how much time and work it was for him to "justify" the work he was selling. He admitted that he didn't very often deal in work that he didn't like, and so I wonder what exactly this part of the job description must mean. Presumably, if you are asking a really high price for a work you might need to justify the price, I suppose. Issues of provenence and pedigree ? Let's be serious. Of course, we were talking about butt ugly contemporary art that wouldn't likely stand a chance in hell of actually selling itself based on how it LOOKS. So what is this justification ? Where the artist studied or who the artist knows ? Is it based on what the artist knows ? What the artist tried to do ? The more I think about it...

Well, the more I think of an episode of this thing on TV where you let Martha Stewart bitch her head off at you and then in the end, if you're a total piece of crap human you get a job... with Martha Stewart !! Why don't they have a show where people try to be assistants to a great white shark and then one by one, they get eaten. The lucky winner will get to swim away with the great white shark.

The point of the show though, it seems to me (I watched it dubbed into Spanish so how do I know what it was about ?) has something to do with (mostly) marketing utterly pointless sideline products of major corporations. The kind of crap that no one believes in, the kind of work that no one likes. But with a budget of a zillion dollars you can "justify" it to some kind of fake public thus keeping the fake economy going for another 2 weeks. And then there is a fake critique of the work done, making it seems like Stewart and her cohorts are "professionals" and the losing contestants are somehow less professional in this contest of nothingness. No product. No benefit. No work actually done, no one changed or different or better.

I wouldn't presume to understand how art dealers "justify" the work they sell. I am pretty sure I don't want to know. I am still thinking we are going to return to a world where art sells itself because it is art and dealers deal in that. One would think that a profitable place to be. Cynicism. We don't need it.
Awesome foto from the photo gallery of protected species at The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.

1 comment:

  1. Excellent post. I especially enjoy the Hirst-ian shark.