Brassed Off Britannia

Brassed Off Britannia

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 Post subject: Origins and provenance
PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2014 10:21 am 
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Location: Fleurieu, South Australia
I speak as an outsider to the arts but bring a logic and rational approach from a contrasting position.

A thick stripe of black alongside a somewhat thinner one in white - BlackFire 1 by Barnett Newman - was sold recently for US$84m, eclipsing the more modest(!) US$56m paid for a black square and a smaller orange one, Mark Rothko's Untitled.

Pollock's painting of June last year, sold then for $7500 and again in May this year for $125 000.
The commentator writes, "When it come to art, money suddenly becomes meaningless." Oh, really?

Meanwhile the debate now is what to do with the works of Rolf Harris. If it's any good, should it remain? If it's rubbish and always was, should it go? Or is there another position that imposes the value of the producer on his work? If that's the case, what about the many narcotics abusers who have been affirmed in art circles? Are they excused if there is no conviction recorded?

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2014 7:42 pm 
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Location: Holst country (to be different)
Strange you should mention this. I was down the market this morning and as I entered it there was a stall with a few pictures for sale and some blokes talking and they were talking about how much for a Rolfie or if you would even buy one now. Me? I'm a Constable man or at least "pink" mountains.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2014 7:58 pm 
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I've never been able to understand why an original is worth a million times a high quality print. To the uneducated mind (ie mine) there is no difference. So what, other than the boast 'I can afford it', is the attraction?

I've got a Turner print (The Fighting Temeraire) on my wall and I love it. Would I love it more if it was the original? I don't think so. Indeed I'd probably put it into a bank vault and display my print.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2014 9:09 pm 
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Location: Elgar country
There was a relevant case recently, though I forget the details. An agent bought an art-work at auction for a client, and it cost a couple of million. The client-buyer then defaulted, leaving the agent with the bill.

The interesting bit was the interview with the agent. It seems it is the norm to buy good-quality art, wait a couple of years, and sell at three times the price. So art, at the high end of the market, is a store of wealth that is likely to appreciate rapidly. Presumably this bubble doesn't burst because a lot - an ever-increasing 'lot', with Chinese and Indians joining in - of exceedingly wealthy people are in the market. There are auctioneers' checks against laundered money, but otherwise it's a free-for-all. And anonymity is preserved, such that (I presume) inconveniences like Capital Gains can be avoided. All the art-works are one-off, and so have rarity value.

Like Hooky, I'd be happy with a print (though, unlike Hooky, I'd go for "Rain, Steam, and Speed"). But it's not about the art: it's about the provable uniqueness of an item. Think Ming vases. It's a rich man's sport over which we plebs need not worry our little heads. Much.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2014 9:54 pm 
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Senex Iracundus wrote:

Like Hooky, I'd be happy with a print (though, unlike Hooky, I'd go for "Rain, Steam, and Speed"). But it's not about the art: it's about the provable uniqueness of an item. Think Ming vases. It's a rich man's sport over which we plebs need not worry our little heads. Much.


I just think the Temeraire captures a moment of history never to be seen again. As far as Ming vases are concerned, I'd sooner own a copy.

The only time I value the original is when I have a connection.

Jane, who is a fine artist, painted a picture of my mother and recently asked if she could have it back. She sells her pictures in a shop in Bournemouth.

I refused.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2014 11:43 pm 
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Location: Elgar country
Hook Dangler wrote:
I just think the Temeraire captures a moment of history never to be seen again. As far as Ming vases are concerned, I'd sooner own a copy.

The only time I value the original is when I have a connection.

I agree entirely about the Temerarire, Hooky - the sunset of sail, seen off by dirty old steam. Wonderful. I just feel that "Rain, Steam, etc" is a (slightly) better example of JMWT's art, as well as recording a new age for man.

A few years ago, an ancient Chinese cargo ship was salvaged: in its hold were several thousand pieces of blue-white ceramic ware. These were being sold off - about £100 for an item like a cereal bowl. I was sorely tempted. They were beautiful, and the real McCoy, but I resisted. And somewhere I have the top half of a tiny jug from Jericho - fashioned by a man's hands maybe as long as 6000 years ago. There's enough of the romantic in me to rejoice in that.

Pleasure in and respect for past craftsmanship is one thing: crazy prices in the hope of a profit is another.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2014 12:25 am 
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Senex Iracundus wrote:
Presumably this bubble doesn't burst because a lot - an ever-increasing 'lot', with Chinese and Indians joining in - of exceedingly wealthy people are in the market....

The current term I read over the weekend is HNWI: high net worth individuals. China, a nation of Communist politics, has an embarrassingly large number of them. It is they who are driving the demand for elephant tusk, one destined to destroy the species in Africa within a generation.
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Think Ming vases.

When I do I think, "Good pickled onion jars." Have done for decades.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2014 12:33 am 
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Hook Dangler wrote:
I've never been able to understand why an original is worth a million times a high quality print. To the uneducated mind (i.e. mine) there is no difference.

I agree completely.
Mind you, I am occasionally inclined to a similar view when I see a museum piece of, say, General Montgomery's binoculars, Santana's first guitar or Dylan Thomas' writing desk. Maybe it's just me (I?) who is/am unmoved.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2014 9:00 am 
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Location: Holst country (to be different)
Nothing Australian has the same effect on you GG? Ayres Rock maybe.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 08, 2014 12:41 am 
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cromwell man wrote:
Nothing Australian has the same effect on you GG? Ayres Rock maybe.

Very much so. As for the Rock (we are counselled not to call it that anymore: smacks of imperialist ambitions) I've flown over it maybe, a few times but never seen it. My dream would be a helicopter ride through the Grand Canyon. Certainly beats Las Vegas and Burj Kalifah Tower.
Nature impresses me often with its grandeur and power but there's not much I'd prefer to see in private hands.
I've seen what developers do with natural beauty. I'm yet to see a cluster of townhouses or a shopping centre to compare with a vast mountain range or tall waterfall.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2019 6:48 am 
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Location: Fleurieu, South Australia
There's no accounting for taste - or its absence.
If you put an arty name on something because it has been endorsed by someone in the 'beautiful people' who has affirmed it as 'fabulous', get ready to be charged a motza.
The weekly junk mail indicates I can get a basic kettle for $20, a classier one for $80 but, if it has a pattern that looks like a paint bomb exploded nearby and it has a celebrity name (or two) on it, it'll be $799. Oh, really? Just who would you have to be trying to impress?
And I'm reliably informed you can boil water in it.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2019 9:46 am 
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Ghastly!


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2019 12:38 pm 
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Can you get a matching toaster?


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2019 7:10 am 
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Did you really have to ask? Oh, yes, and there's a blender, too.


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