My investigative day out in the Tate Modern (it was free!) has put me firmly on the path to a cool £6.25 million. Honest folks!
I still recall vividly a television ‘art’ special years ago whose focus was to bring art to the commoner.
Three people strolled casually and confidently around an art exhibition - the presenter and his two guests.
One guest was a former Miss World, turned actress, turned full scale A list celebrity, turned curer of the ailing and weak, turned saviour of the modern world, turned B list celebrity. And finally turned C list celebrity, who also found time to advertise popular shampoo and conditioner products when not saving the world.
The other guest was a sycophantic art expert and lover, who spent most of his time fawning over his fellow guest. When he wasn’t fawning, he was shamelessly showing off his expert knowledge of all things art.
And they were of course followed on their tour of artistic duty by the television crew, who recorded our jolly threesome as they floated happily and contented from one epic landscape painting, to the next still life feature of a bowl of fruit and on to the next portrait of a crinkled face from pre-war Britain.
I think Corrie might have been on the other side, so there could easily have been 14 of us watching.
It was riveting stuff.
The three came to a halt at one of the last pictures in the exhibition.
It was an oil painting on 3 square feet of canvas. It was black. Everywhere. Head to toe, corner to corner. It was painted black. Nothing else. Oh sorry, there was something else. In the bottom left hand corner, there was a small round circle of bright yellow. About 2 inches in diameter.
It was Miss World’s turn to describe what she saw:
“This is a breathtaking piece that really takes us to the nub of everything. Life. The Universe,” she droned helpfully,
“I feel that the colour black, is a dark and apt commentary on the dark forces that can take hold of the soul and offers us up nothing in the way of hope - nothing but the bleakness and inevitability that life is.”
There are tears in my eyes with this clarity. She concluded hopefully,
“Yet the bright yellow/orange circle in the corner of the piece, is a sign that where hope is lost, it is in fact not lost. There is hope, there is redemption, there is rebirth. The yellow is the sun, it is life, it is warmth.”.
She fluttered her eyes, basked in the satisfaction of her artistic integrity, enlivened by her newly discovered expertise and now surely hopeful that her agent could now make her a B list celebrity again, she finished with one final, climactic flourish:
“It is love!”.
Her artistic expert colleague shifted nervously on his feet, clearly wise to something and evidently torn between whether to clarify something or not.
He finally caved in.
“Ehm that’s a really interesting analysis, however I think the orange circle in the corner is not in fact part of the piece. That’s actually a sticker which the exhibitors put on the art pieces whenever they are purchased by the viewers.”
Fine so art is in the eye of the beholder. Whatever the point of the above mentioned art piece was. It was clearly missed by it’s beholder! Oh but don’t worry the piece was valued at something nutty like £100,000.
Right I thought. I can do that. So I decided to investigate further.
I went to the Tate Modern.
I won’t bore you with the details (believe me I could).
Three art ‘pieces’ stood out.
The first: A constant looping video clip of a lady (the artist apparently) standing by a river. She slowly undresses herself. She then pours a jug of animal blood over her naked body. Then she starts to roll around in a pile of old bird feathers for a while. Then she stands up again. Covered in bird feathers. Then it all starts over again.
The second: In one of the exhibition rooms, a long and extremely thin steel rod/pin runs from ceiling to floor. All the way down, it pierces a couple of hundred bars of soap. Used bars of soap. A sort of soap kebab. I’m serious.
The third: Some guy called Nitsch back in the sixties decided to renounce man made writing materials and so he painted art forms onto canvas using the spattered blood of crucified animals. The resultant pieces were all on display. Revolting.
I am not joking.
And all of this stuff is worth millions.
So I want a piece of the action.
As I write this, I am looking around to see what I can use for my first art piece. If Damien Hirst could dip a sheep in formaldehyde and call that art or if Tracey Emin can write all the names of her past lovers in a tent and call that art, then I can do what I want.
OK, so I am looking at a rosewood miniature elephant, a George Foreman Lean Fat Grilling Machine, a half full bag of fusilli, a chess board, a miniature mini cooper and a lava lamp. That’s it, they will form the centre piece of my art exhibit, and maybe I‘ll throw in some cotton wool, some hundreds and thousands and quite cunningly one roller skate.
I will then carefully place a cassette player in the middle and have one song playing on constant loop for the exhibition, namely: Do Wah Diddy Diddy, by Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich.
My piece and I will become infinitely famous and the piece will sell for £6.25 million to a Saudi Arabian art lover.
But it won’t change me and I will continue to write my blog.
I’ve said this before, but while there are numchucks out there who will pay stupid amounts of money on stupid pointless things, then there will always be a fast buck to be made!
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