There were a couple of interesting items in today’s Torygraph. The first was about how a $50 non-descript landscape in a New York charity shop was turned into a piece worth over $200,000 due to the addition of a Nazi officer sitting on a bench looking at the scene. The extra detail was added by Banksy. Does this increase the value of the painting or just increase its price? An interesting addition to the discussion about art and money.
The other article was about ” a new guide to help decode the “meaningless” terms used [in the art world] by the establishment to help “heighten its mystique”, revealing the real, amusing and insulting definitions hidden underneath.” This guide has been written by Peter Hook, a director at Sotherby’s. I’ve already blogged about International Art English, aka Arty Bollocks. Hook made some interesting observations:
“Describing a painting as “honest” could be heard as calling it “inept”, he added, while “important” signifies a work that is “art-historically significant but difficult to sell”. He added the term “interesting” could be considered an ““all-purpose word to disguise the observer’s inability to fathom the point of a painting”, while “ahead of the market” denotes something is overpriced.
“Hook told the Telegraph the terms were often used to “camouflage the nakedly commercial aspect” of selling art. “You don’t say selling and buying; you say sourced and placed,” he said. “Dealers prefer to be curators. Galleries become spaces.””