April 23, 2009

Challenging the line between art and commerce is cute until it's not cute.

"The point of installing a boutique inside the 'Copyright Murakami' exhibition at MOCA's Geffen Contemporary building was to highlight the Japanese pop artist's trademark blurring of the lines between art and commerce, MOCA officials said at the time of the 2007-08 show. But [Clint] Arthur contends that selling repurposed handbag material as 500 collectible art prints priced at $6,000 and $10,000 crossed the line from commerce to fraud because Louis Vuitton allegedly hid the fact that the prints were made from the same fabric sheets as the Murakami-designed bags and accessories selling nearby for almost $1,000."

Now, try keeping the line between art and law. It's very hard!

21 comments:

Henry said...

So you pay $5000 for the artistic experience.

What's so hard to understand about that?

If income supposedly correlates with intelligence, shouldn't there a price point where you are no longer allowed to claim you were a sucker?

Peter V. Bella said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Palladian said...

Only the coterie of failed academics and other talentless miscreants who populate the "curatorial" and institutional world of contemporary art believe that there's ever been a "line between art and commerce" in the post-Medieval world. That kind of nonsense is restricted to undergraduate papers in "art theory" classes taught by the aforementioned talentless miscreants. The only line separating "art from commerce" is a line of coke on a mirror between the hipster artist of the moment and his art dealer across the table.

Art used to set the tastes of the ruling class. Now the ruling class and the artist, both equally aesthetically and intellectually bankrupt, settle for tacky handbags. The courts are a fittingly soulless place for both.

Henry said...

Not only is there no line between art and commerce, there's no line between art and dodginess.

Velazquez occasionally painted new portraits over old paintings. You'd think there would be a lawsuit there. One of the greatest of great master was considered by some of his contemporaries as a slapdash technician given to shortcuts.

The next step for Murakami is to take the repurposed art print, turn it into a handbag and sell it for $36,000.

Speaking of soulless, Palladian, did you notice the name of the MOCA building?

Christy said...

He paid a premium for an uninterrupted print. What's the problem?

Bissage said...

I guess investment is the lifeblood of the art world which is why California has its Sale of Fine Prints Act, Civ.Code, §§ 1740, et seq.

Still, I would still like to see Mr. Arthur get bitten on the ass by some colorful manga creature, menacingly grinning, with three eyeballs and nasty big pointy teeth!

Palladian said...

"Speaking of soulless, Palladian, did you notice the name of the MOCA building?"

Yes, a fitting one I think.

Trooper York said...

When I was last in Vegas there was a boutique totally devoted to Barry Manilow and another one in Caesars Palace totally devoted to Celine Dion. Now that's the nexus of art and commerce right there.

Pogo said...

I love the smell of a good Palladian rant in the morning.

mariner said...

Headline:

Dumbass Now Regrets Paying BIG Money For Crap

Eli Blake said...

He should have urinated on the prints before selling them. In that case there would be no question that it was art and worth an extra $5000.

Trooper York said...

In that case hd house's mattress should be worth about a million dollars.

onparkstreet said...

Wasn't Duchamp, like, 100 years ago and stuff?

Move on, already museum-art crowd, move on. 'Straight-forward' and beauty are the new black...

Smilin' Jack said...

Can't "art" just die already? Or more precisely, can't we all just accept the fact that art died of its own ridiculosity about 50 years ago?

If all the "art" and "artists" from the past 50 years disappeared tomorrow, who would miss them? Who would even notice?

Palladian said...

A hell of a lot more than will miss or notice when you finally, happily, disappear.

Bissage said...

To me, many of the comments on this thread are shocking, distressing, pleasing, baffling and amusing.

Buford Gooch said...

Ahh, comments from Palladian and Pogo... my day is made. NO sarcasm. Two of the best commenters on the intertubes.

Smilin' Jack said...

Palladian said...
A hell of a lot more than will miss or notice when you finally, happily, disappear.


May the tears you shed at my departure be tears of joy, Palladian. But not too many...I wouldn't want your mascara to run.

traditionalguy said...

Rich people investing in art are 90%+ of the time the mark of very proper art fraud experts. The only way they ever get any money back is by using an inflated appraisal for the purpose of a donation reciept to a municipality or 501(c)(3)to get a charitable deduction off their Gross taxable income.But the bragging rights of having once owned the great artist's work, and then given it away to charity, seems to more than make most of the jerks happy.

Penny said...

Artists? There IS no line between your art and commerce. Wrap THAT around your heads, just for starters.

Once you have that down?

Step up to the plate, or step down and enjoy your hobby.

Laura(southernxyl) said...

I invested $15 in a watercolor of sandpipers on the beach at Clearwater, because it makes me happy to contemplate it. It's hanging on the wall at home where I can look at it.

And I know I am totally uncultured b/c I can't conceive of any other reason to buy art, hence my lack of understanding of Arthur's complaint.

Years ago I had a coworker whose daughter threw out her Milli Vanilli CDs in the wake of the lip-synch scandal. (How innocent we all were.) He asked her why in the world she did that - she'd bought the CDs because she liked the music, hadn't she? The music didn't change. She had no coherent answer for him.