What is Art?
Regular readers will know I try to use a camera and a computer to create art. Last Sunday, I took over 100 photographs and tried to create something; is it art? If I created something people like and consider to be art, then I think it is! I like the picture above and that one I would consider to be art. Other people might not! Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and so is art.
I watched a programme on TV about artist, Damian Hirst the other night. He is one of the world’s wealthiest artists and has done a variety of work. He has cut a cow in half and preserved it in formaldehyde. He as also done painting that used just spots and one of his works was a sculpture called ‘The love of God’ and was a human skull made from Platinum; adorned with 8,601 diamonds. That is my kind of sculpture! He does have a flamboyant personality and he ‘sells’ his work in more ways than one. He has not only made hundreds of millions of pounds putting his works up for auction. He sells the idea that his works are great works of art and increases the price of new works as they become increasing popular. He sells ideas using the skills of other people as well as his own. The auctioneers play a part in that process, but so does his assistants and agent.
He has come in for criticism, not surprisingly, all artists do. But he seems to have known the right people and wealthy art collectors buy his work. Members of the Stuckist art group have been critical, but their work too is open to criticism.
By a weird coincidence, I found out this morning that his work will be displayed at Walsall Art gallery in October and although I can get an idea of what it’s like from television and his website; it would be interesting to go and see it for myself. I shall probably say something appropriate and sarcastic, but I might like the work.
By another weird coincidence this morning, another artist posted on her Facebook page and I looked at her pictures. There is some similarities in the works of Damien Hirst and Dodo Newman. Her website is worth visiting if you’re not familiar with her work and she also has a Facebook page. Her work doesn’t sell for as much as that of Damien Hirst, but I think it could one day. She seems to have embraced the internet and social media, so there is lots online about her work.
It seems art works can be worth a lot of money and collectors appear to collect what they like, but also see art as an investment. We buy what we like but some would argue that tax payers money shouldn’t be used to buy art works. I tend to agree, collectors are usually only too happy to lend works to galleries; there is no need for public galleries to buy them.
Art, I think, is in the eye of the beholder. Many people look at the works of students and try to recognise emerging talent. These works sell for a tiny fraction of what Damien Hirst’s works sell for at auction, but are often seen as a prize worth having. The work of students is also bought as a speculative investment. I must finish by mentioning one such art student studying at Derby University, A J Hateley. There is a name that art lovers should remember!
There are more fascinating blogs on the home page. Please comment and maybe I will write more about art in the future…
- How Damien Hirst recaptured his market (blogs.reuters.com)
- Damien Hirst work on sale in Tate Modern retrospective (independent.co.uk)
- Sell before Damien Hirst bubble bursts, expert warns fans (independent.co.uk)
- Damien Hirst Tate Modern retrospective opens – The Guardian (guardian.co.uk)
- Richest Artist (celebritynetworth.com)