there was a great article, (and i mean 6 pages and i read it all great), over on ARTINFO about the recent rise of a young art superstar by the name of Jacob Kassay that i just couldn’t help but share. to make a long story short, an untitled painting by the 26 year-old artist recently sold at auction for an unbelievable 86,500 fucking dollars. the final bid, made at Phillips de Pury & Co. (<– of course), was over ten times it’s low, yet reasonable estimate of $8,000. the article goes on in depth about all of the problems associated with such a sale, like who really controls the art market, what are collectors really looking for, what does this do to the career and mindset of a young artist, etc… but the part of the article that really caught my eye was how there seems to be this odd, obsessive trend with collectors and dealers to purchase, almost compulsively, shiny, and especially reflective works of art.
case in point… because of the recent demand in Kassay’s “silver paintings”, his gallerist have had to re-appraise the value of his new works, and in fact did so based upon just how shinny the surface of each canvas proved to be; a decision based solely upon what had previously proved popular at auction. of course this phenomenon doesn’t just apply to the work of Jacob Kassay and his chemically treated canvases, far from it. just a few years ago when Anselm Reyle released his series of foil paintings in 2007, his works immediately began to fetch auction bids upwards of $700,000. even more incredible, (or perhaps outrages is a better word), are the multi-million dollar figures that the reflective trophies of Anish Kapor, Damien Hirst and Jeff Koons consistently command. the list goes on and on, but the point being is that because of the seemingly self-indulgent, self-obsessed nature that creating and/or collecting art obviously takes on, people invested in the art world seem to have a predisposition to works of art that both physically and metaphorically reflect their own image and persona. in short, it appears as though everyone involved, (myself included), are inherently nothing more than bower(y)birds looking to posses pretty, shiny things. and perhaps this is certainly not a new revelation by any means, but it is certainly something to “reflect” upon. so in the end, (and to wrap things up, finally), what i’m hoping each of you will walk away with, is that making it big in the art world = making it shiny… it’s really just as easy as that!
p.s. you can thank me later when your rich and famous and it actually means something.