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  #1  
Old May 15th, 2013, 12:40 AM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is online now
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Talking So, this is worth the price? Of course!

Well, if you wonder what constitues taste or value, take a look:




‘Onement’ work by abstract expressionist Barnett Newman sells at NYC auction for record $43.8M


"The painting is the last of six in Newman’s Onement series. They’re characterized by what’s called the zip, a distinctive stripe running down the center of the canvas. Four are in museum collections.

“Onement V” sold at auction last year for $22.4 million, the artist’s previous auction record."

More here.

So is life fair?

Asher
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  #2  
Old May 15th, 2013, 02:49 AM
fahim mohammed fahim mohammed is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Asher Kelman View Post
Well, if you wonder what constitues taste or value, take a look:




‘Onement’ work by abstract expressionist Barnett Newman sells at NYC auction for record $43.8M


"The painting is the last of six in Newman’s Onement series. They’re characterized by what’s called the zip, a distinctive stripe running down the center of the canvas. Four are in museum collections.

“Onement V” sold at auction last year for $22.4 million, the artist’s previous auction record."

More here.

So is life fair?

Asher
Yes. The market sets the price. It has set the price. ' value ' is subjective. Here the ' value ' would have seemed to justify the price to the buyer.

' artists ' here should not complain but rejoice!!

After all this is ' art '. To be hung in galleries or in private collections. There is hope for many yet.

' fair '? Define ' fair ' and from whose perspective?

More importantly, do you consider it to be ' art ' worthy of that sum of money. That it is ' art ' must be beyond question..no?

Would be interesting to know the view of others here. My views are well known.
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  #3  
Old May 15th, 2013, 04:34 AM
Bart_van_der_Wolf Bart_van_der_Wolf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fahim mohammed View Post
Yes. The market sets the price. It has set the price. ' value ' is subjective. Here the ' value ' would have seemed to justify the price to the buyer.
Hi Fahim,

I agree. It's in line with my personal view on art, which literally is "Artifact", i.e. something that was (skillfully) created. Some definitions do not even require the skill (when art is taken as artificial), but I prefer to stay close to the literal Latin meaning, 'a skillfully made thing'.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wiktionary.org
Etymology
Alteration of artefact, from Italian artefatto, from Latin arte (“by skill”), (ablative of ars (“art”)) + factum (“thing made”), from facere.
Apparently, the technique used by Barnett Newman, can be described as skillful. We had a museum incident with one of his works (titled:"Who's Afraid of Red, Yellow and Blue III") being damaged by a disturbed person with a Stanley knife in het "Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam" on March, 21st 1986. The following restoration caused quite a controversy, because the special technique used by Newman to apply the paint (causing a special depth in an otherwise uniform color), was destroyed by apparently simply using a paint roller by the restoration studio who got the assignment, and did a poor job.

As for the price someone is willing to pay, it's up to them. I think it's ludicrous, the money could have been spent on something beneficial to human society instead. But that's just my opinion, who cares, the art industry(!) doesn't. Art has been commercialized, it has become a commodity.

I can recommend those interested to try an get a hand on the documentary called: "Who gets to call it Art". It shows that the Art in that period was made into something bigger than it perhaps was mostly by one influential individual, Henry Geldzahler.

A really sobering documentary about the "art industry" is also worthwhile to see, it's called "The great contemporary art bubble", by art-critic and filmmaker Ben Lewis. It demonstrates that it can be an industry, with art dealers bidding on their own on auction lots, to boost the price. I don't know if this link to the documentary shows correctly outside the Netherlands.

Cheers,
Bart
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  #4  
Old May 15th, 2013, 04:50 AM
Jerome Marot Jerome Marot is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bart_van_der_Wolf View Post
Apparently, the technique used by Barnett Newman, can be described as skillful. We had a museum incident with one of his works (titled:"Who's Afraid of Red, Yellow and Blue III") being damaged by a disturbed person with a Stanley knife in het "Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam" on March, 21st 1986. The following restoration caused quite a controversy, because the special technique used by Newman to apply the paint (causing a special depth in an otherwise uniform color), was destroyed by apparently simply using a paint roller by the restoration studio who got the assignment, and did a poor job.

That may be part of the explanation. I have seen similar works in museums before, and they look very different in original than on a photographic copy. The color of the piece is not simply blue as one sees it here.

I am not saying that the price is justified or not, but that we should see the original work and not a reproduction that does not do it justice if we want to have a chance to understand. The same is true for more "classical" paintings: Le Radeau de la Méduse, by Gericault is a huge painting and the impression is quite different in original than in photography. The same is true for Monet's Nymphéas or Chagall paintings: the colors cannot be reproduced by normal photographic and print processes.
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  #5  
Old May 15th, 2013, 05:08 AM
Cem_Usakligil Cem_Usakligil is offline
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Hi guys,

I like this discussion and I agree mostly with what has been said by Fahim, Bart and Jerome.

@Asher: just one question because I am a bit confused. In this thread you have asked us to conduct discussions on art only in certain forums/threads. Does that apply to this discussion also? Not that I have any issues, just for the sake of clarity!
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  #6  
Old May 15th, 2013, 05:38 AM
Tom dinning Tom dinning is offline
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I understand the art.
I don't understand the price.
There are many things I don't understand.
I don't understand why I can understand the art but not the price.
Maybe it's because I'm a looker and not a buyer.
It costs nothing to look.
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  #7  
Old May 15th, 2013, 07:30 AM
Doug Kerr Doug Kerr is online now
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Basically, anything is "worth" the price it fetches in a non-coerced transaction.

And this piece is "art" on several levels. Only one of those is the process by which it comes to fetch USD 43.8M in the "art" marketplace.

If I painted something essentially indistinguishable from that work, it would equally be art, just not in that second sense.

Would it be "good" art? Well, against what criteria?

Suppose a recently-discovered sketch by Albert Einstein, done on a napkin to illustrate to a friend a mathematical principle, brought USD 15M at a "collectibles" auction? Would that have qualified it as "art"? Perhaps not.

Perhaps the buyer then sold it for USD 25M at an "art" auction. Would its "nature" then have changed? While it sat in a vault someplace? Amazing. It's better than implied casting of variable types in C++. Or the germination of wheat seeds.

Best regards,

Doug
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  #8  
Old May 15th, 2013, 09:11 AM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cem_Usakligil View Post
Hi guys,

I like this discussion and I agree mostly with what has been said by Fahim, Bart and Jerome.

@Asher: just one question because I am a bit confused. In this thread you have asked us to conduct discussions on art only in certain forums/threads. Does that apply to this discussion also? Not that I have any issues, just for the sake of clarity!

Cem,

Good point! The host can take out a favorite and rare liquor brewed by skilled monks between meditations. That's what's happening here to enjoyment. This is an appropriate context, not a perfect explanation, but hopefully, adequate among friends.

Also, there's nothing personal, incisive, divisive about discussion this form of art, in this context.

Asher
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  #9  
Old May 15th, 2013, 09:19 AM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom dinning View Post
I understand the art.
I don't understand the price.
There are many things I don't understand.
I don't understand why I can understand the art but not the price.
Maybe it's because I'm a looker and not a buyer.
It costs nothing to look.
Tom,

Likely as not, the purchaser is convinced that this work is exceptional in quality and so rare that it will at least maintain it's value. Also, he/she probably has a place to hang the picture and insurance to cover it in case of loss. There are not so many show items that give pleasure, that also hold a bank-full of transportable, inflation-correcting value.

We do it on a smaller scale. A 200 mm f 2.0 IS lens, although too expensive for most folk, was actually a great investment that maintains its value despite pleasurable use! In fact that's almost normal for expensive and rare lenses.

Asher
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  #10  
Old May 15th, 2013, 09:31 AM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Kerr View Post
Perhaps the buyer then sold it for USD 25M at an "art" auction. Would its "nature" then have changed? While it sat in a vault someplace? Amazing. It's better than implied casting of variable types in C++. Or the germination of wheat seeds.
Doug,

Not likely, LOL!

Christie's, Sotheby's and the like would have it under "collectables", like letters from Abe Lincoln or The Beatles or drafts of the US Constitution.

Now the doodle drawn by Marc Chagall, while waiting to get to visit Moshe Dayan, is very different.

The secretary interrupted him. "Sir, do you realize you're scribbling in the cover a valuable book? It's Mr. Dayan's favorite!"

"Well, my dear, I assure you it's going to be very much more valuable now!" Chagal mumbled as he completed his gift.

Asher
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  #11  
Old May 15th, 2013, 10:33 AM
Michael_Stones Michael_Stones is offline
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Art differs from science in that it lacks an agreed upon meaning. Although the term science derives from the Latin for "knowledge", modern usage refers to a consensual core of methodologies used in the pursuit of knowledge rather than the derivatives of that pursuit. Whether scientists study natural, biological, behavioural or social phenomena, the methodologies include observation of relationships between variables and the consensual principles directed toward an understanding of such relationships.

Art, defined as "artifact" as per Bart, refers to skilled activities of virtually any persuasion (e.g., the 'arts' of communication, cooking, sculpture, writing, photography). No common methodology unites the pursuit of these activities, beyond expressions of skill within the respective domains, with no overarching principles that enable comprehension and comparison across the boundaries of those domains.

A conclusion appears inescapable that 'art' means everything and therefore nothing. In the interests of effective discourse, those who term themselves 'artists' should henceforth term themselves 'craftspersons' and delete the term 'art' from their lexicon. Cheers, Crafty Mike.
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  #12  
Old May 15th, 2013, 11:22 AM
jake klein jake klein is offline
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$4.3 million may be a huge amount of cash to one person.....


And pocket change to another.....



Who am I to judge others pockets?
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  #13  
Old May 15th, 2013, 11:29 AM
Cem_Usakligil Cem_Usakligil is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jake klein View Post
$4.3 million may be a huge amount of cash to one person.....
times 10 actually
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  #14  
Old May 15th, 2013, 01:18 PM
fahim mohammed fahim mohammed is offline
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It seems to be the season for artists. Her is Mikki at Sotheby's.

Here comes Mikki

Compared to US$ 4.3 Millions, this seems a steal! I am sure there are art lovers here that would love to acquire an original or two.
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  #15  
Old May 15th, 2013, 03:18 PM
jake klein jake klein is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cem_Usakligil View Post
times 10 actually

Woops! But it could be times 100. If your ready to spend that kind of cash you aren't worrying about paying any late bills.
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  #16  
Old May 15th, 2013, 03:30 PM
Tom dinning Tom dinning is offline
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Hang on to that calendar, Cem, it could bring you into an early retirement. There are only 12 in existence. That should bring a price of about $10 as a collectors set.
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  #17  
Old May 15th, 2013, 03:33 PM
Cem_Usakligil Cem_Usakligil is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom dinning View Post
Hang on to that calendar, Cem, it could bring you into an early retirement. There are only 12 in existence. That should bring a price of about $10 as a collectors set.
Lol, only if it is mint. Mine isn't.
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  #18  
Old May 15th, 2013, 03:56 PM
Tom dinning Tom dinning is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cem_Usakligil View Post
Lol, only if it is mint. Mine isn't.
Yours is value added.
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