Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Art on Drugs

Question of the Month: What IS is that compels a soul to pay $14.6 million for things like Basquiat's psychotic doodles,

or $71.7 million for one of Warhol's doctored photos...

yet only $300,000 for an honest Wyeth?

One ponders the matter while mumbling along in dowdy clothes and sensible shoes, collecting all of $30/hr. for attempting to help people learn an art form that is, by most accounts, obsolete.

{sigh} Rather obvious who's in the wrong business.

But REALLY, gentlemen! $19.2 million for Hirst's medicine cabinet lined with colorful pills? Where's the 'imagination' in it? Worse, you couldn't even use the thing because it would have required some skill to build one that worked.

We can respect that it's been "all about the materials" ever since the Industrial Revolution brought an end to a) artists' mixing their own paints, and b) earthly dignity; but where's the 'genius' in steel, glass, or flies packed together with resin into a pot scrubber? Those are projects that my son would have tackled with relish, in the sixth grade.

Yet I'm certain there must be something to it, other than that Markets are controlled by clinically sick individuals. People who earn/spend that much money must be a whole lot smarter than we donkeys are, slogging around for our carrots, unable to afford things like vacations.

But lo! and hark! I did enjoy an epiphany the other day, while driving out to lessons. In a miraculous flash, it occurred to me that pitting a Wyeth against a Warhol would be analogous to pitting a nun against the NFL! Or a bicycle against NASCAR! (And we must not forget the acronyms...always in caps. Always shouting. Very important.) Nevermind Debussy vs. AC/DC.

Think I'll stick to the bike. Some of us just...never could get into that PILLS thing...