What price for a painting...?


(Helen Wright) #21

I loved your response and will look for that book…I was just wondering if you had ever come across the Turner prize at the Tate gallery in uk…???

It was maybe one of the first times some years back that I thought to myself that seriously how on Earth can this be considered art…???

unmade bed and a pickled cow and her calf cut in half…

I think Hockney displayed a private collection there a couple of years back maybe last year…


(Mary Wolcott) #22

Helen, I know already that I would love to meet you and talk with you… That said, let me just say that you are mixing apples and oranges. One’s subjective judgment of just one work of art, can come out just as you have described. Yours is a subjective judgment of the items you recognize in the painting which, for the life of you it seems, you cannot fathom why valuable to place on a canvas or whatever, and frame it.

That’s what I was intimating. While it may sound hoity-toity to suggest, you really do want to know a bit more about the artist, and try to get some idea of what it’s like to be an incredible genius artist. In a world where so few things are simple - yet are passed off as simplistic and with something akin to “I could have thought/done/made that” please look a bit further and do read that book. And, others, too, if you have time, that are about the life of an artist, or the artworld in general. I do think Tomkins is one of the most accessible authors on art topics, so his works (and Merchants and Masterpieces is one of several authored by him) are perhaps good to start with.

There is so much more to that Hockney painting, than just the brushstrokes/composition/choice of subject. While it’s important to have a visceral reaction, such as you have described, to an artwork, it’s also incredibly important to realize how much brainpower and sheer talent goes into artwork.

It’s a far greyer world than you suggest. And you look a bit foolish, dear (hope-to-be) friend, saying things as baldly as that. While it may seem fun and be a bit of a tickle to describe things so glibly, it’s going to be so much more richly rewarding to you if you might dig a bit deeper and read more about Hockney or whatever paintings/art works you are mentioning. My suggestion: say those things you’ve stated, internally, keep them in your head (I do the same at first). Then, get to know more. It’s almost like those glib statements that I have and you have, are a huge overt out-and-out invitation (if not a demand, to my brain’s way of seeing it) to FIND OUT A LOT MORE before I speak or think any further on it. It’s like I say, okay, I know it’s a cow and a nude woman and whatnot… But I’m not going to do the Emperor’s Clothes thing with a serious art piece. I save the Emperor’s Clothes thing for clowns like… say, Trump. :wink:

But then again, this topic is about how to price a painting and as Tim states, $80 mil is obscene. Yeah. Man, what I could do with $80 mil. But then again, what I could do with… $1 mil. I dunno about stating the sale of it for $80 mil as obscene. I just don’t but maybe Tim does. So, I’ll be quiet about that in favor of saying that the world is complex and just wondering who would pay that much… But only in the ‘wonderment’ sort of wondering way. If that makes sense. I am, after all, a big fan of having artists finally recognized for having value and I guess this is one way that recognition is visible… The best thing about it, is the visibility it gives an artist, David Hockney. There’s so much more to discuss, like why art is stuck so often in art galleries/museums and is not in the public (though Banksy’s work is priceless in the best sense, and isn’t stuck in art museums/galleries). And, so much to discuss about why artwork makes news when its sale price at auction reaches such heights. Why only now, when the subject matter and the artist, to my mind, have so many other fascinating aspects?


(Helen Wright) #23

I love banksey too…where I used to live graffiti was instantly recognisable as either mindless vandalism or in many cases a work of art and my own and many’s recognition of budding new artists…

I think my own visceral response to the painting at auction most likely has to do with it depicting a swimming pool having looked at the really disturbing art collections of the Podestas amongst others…children hanging and beaten and in swimming pools some obviously dead …I can’t contemplate the minds that would avidly collect those sorts of paintings/drawings…???

and then also Marina Abromovic and her enthusiasts…


(Mary Wolcott) #24

My stepfather’s carpentry workshop was housed in one-half of the garage. Years and years ago, he lost two of his fingers while sawing something in there. He walked out of the garage holding his mangled hand and my mom never forgot the image.

One day about a decade ago, I was sitting, holding a dead mouse that had been killed by a puncture wound from something in the garage. I was sitting by the garage door, holding it, when mom drove up in her pickup truck and as she neared the garage to park her truck she spied me quietly holding the mouse in her hand and had a visceral reaction perhaps similar to yours, in that she recalled the scene with her husband and attributed it for some reason to what she was seeing when spying me sitting there quietly holding and mourning a dead fieldmouse.

Nothing similar at all. Made no sense. Sometimes, ridiculous precedence wherein perhaps someone got sympathy or empathetic or compassionate response to something where someone was comparing apples to oranges, sparked this notion that it’s acceptable to repeat such. But, I say it’s addictive, like a habit in which one sparks the endorphins illogically.

There’re plenty of ways to spark endorphins and get that feeling to surge, but perhaps one could use a bit of selectivity. One could, conceivably, reap an even greater, richer spark of endorphins if one mines a bit more information and realizes the depth and complexity rather than the surface judgment and reactivity. The ‘high’ if you will, from experiencing something at a deeper level, lasts longer and has a greater impact - easier to recall and bring back the feeling, next time. If that makes sense. :sunny:


(Helen Wright) #25

I get that Mary…we no doubt all have memories indelibly marked as if there had been a camera there to take the photo…screenshots frozen in time that stay with us before any of us ever knew what a screenshot was…

I would hope that he isn’t linked in any way to the horrors of child trafficking and child abuse…and the collections of “art” that I’m talking about and am so repulsed by…

If I had that many dollars or euros or whatever hanging around spare then I’d probably not be sitting in on the auction…I’d be thinking what can I do with my superfluous millions that may make a difference to my local community…,

Be interesting to see who the buyer is…??? x :slight_smile:

With love…:heart: