Friday, 16 November 2007

Streaky Bacon Sells

Francis Bacon - Self PortraitThere are still people with more money than sense who are prepared to lash out millions on a pathetic load of codswallop, in the USA at least. This Self Portrait by Francis Bacon sold for $29.5m (£14.3m) at Sotheby's New York auction of contemporary and postwar art on Wednesday. Bacon's Study for Bullfight No 1, second version, fetched $41m (£19.9m), a new auction record for a living artist. Jeff Koons' girlie Hanging Heart, Magenta and Gold (CLICK) went for $23.5m (£11.4m), a fitting pressie for the tasteless, gold-digging floozy who has everything.


At 16/11/07, Anonymous Art News Blog said...

I liked the bullfight Bacon, but he didnt hit the mark with this self portrait. It's quite ugly.

"A fair price is the highest one a collector can be induced to pay." Robert Hughes


"Art prices are determined by the meeting of real or induced scarcity with pure, irrational desire, and nothing is more manipulable than desire." Robert Hughes

At 16/11/07, Blogger Coxsoft Art said...

"Ugly" is certainly the word, and if this is how Bacon sees himself, he is mentally disturbed.

One of the things that worries me about "modern art" is that it is the disturbed visions of artists such as Bacon, Picasso, Van Gogh and Hirst that attract the big money. A subculture which worships mental illness above artistic talent needs to examine its own mental health.

Thanks for the great quotes. I'd add to them that the type of big spenders who go to these auctions are probably very competitive fellows who don't want to be seen as losers. Once they've started bidding, they become determined to win at any cost. So they pay over the odds for some rubbish, but they can't feel cheated when the other punters give them a round of applause, as though they've just done something wonderful!

My father, who served in Tripoli toward the end of WW II (he was in Malta most of the war) told an interesting anecdote about trading and fair prices. He haggled with a few Arab vendors, who started at ridiculously high prices, than gave you a cup of sweet coffee and sat down for a good haggle. When a fair price was eventually agreed, both parties were happy. Then along comes a rich American GI, pays the OTT first asking price, and the Arab vendor is so disgusted he spits on the ground behind the GI's back and calls him an idiot. (My father had picked up a few crucial words of Arabic.) Far from being pleased that he'd gained more money than the thing was worth, the vendor was annoyed he hadn't been allowed to prove his salesemanship by having a good haggle!

At 16/11/07, Blogger Coxsoft Art said...

P.S. I noticed that Sotheby's is holding its first ever sale of Australian art in December. Looks more up your street than mine.

At 17/11/07, Anonymous Stroh said...

this self portrait is horrible. If this is how he thinks of himself, he needs help.

At 17/11/07, Blogger Coxsoft Art said...

Hi, Stroh

Absolutely. Here's an scarier thought: how come someone so disturbed that he thinks this is beautiful art has £14.3m in the bank to buy it? Makes you wonder about the people running our world, doesn't it?

At 18/11/07, Anonymous Art News Blog said...

Yeah, that's an interesting point about the super rich being super competitive. I guess it's how they became super rich in the first place.

Also, when I was in Turkey, shopping in the Bazaars, I would get my Turkish girlfriend at the time to buy things for me. There was a price for the foreigners and a price for the locals.

I dont think any Turkish shopkeepers would have been upset with being paid too much

And yeah, I have already had a look through the Aussie auction (online). I just wish people with art blogs earned lots of money!

At 18/11/07, Blogger Coxsoft Art said...

I think there are a few rich bloggers out there (some famous people write blogs), but I'm certainly not one of them. In nearly two years of blogging, my Adsense account has reached $27 US. And I won't be paid a penny until it hits $100. I've recently added an Adsense Arts & Humanities ad to see if that earns me any more. But millionaire? No way. Not even a living. Still, I know lots of people who spend far more on their hobbies than I do.

At 21/11/07, Anonymous Art News Blog said...

hmm, that's not even enough to buy a coffee each month. ANB doesnt earn enough to live off of, but it easily buys a few good bottles of red wine each month.

I would experiment a little more with the colours, ad size, and positioning of adsense.

But yeah, at the end of the day, you have to do it because you want to, and not to get rich (although that would be good too!).

At 21/11/07, Blogger Coxsoft Art said...

AdSense keeps me in line. If I write anything too rude - like Pricasso - I get free Hurricane Relief adverts until I fix it!

I managed to expose the fleshy-knickers convention in Western art without a quibble from AdSense. It's all in the wording.


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