Creative Global Network for the Visual Arts

One day in early January 2010, whilst on his lunch break, a guy was having an argument with a friend about modern art. His friend, having studied art at university, was vigorously defending it with the usual arguments of the art being representative and an emotional interpretation of the artists’ innermost feelings and experiences.

The guy disagreed.

He saw the vast majority of modern art as ‘crap on a canvas’ (or words to that effect). He held the stance that todays modern art could have been produced by absolutely anybody with no tangible artistic talent. The only reason this art work sold, he felt, was because the artist had become a ‘known entity’ on the art scene and was able to project some anal significance to the mess they had created and labeled it as ‘art’.

The conversation turned into a heated debate and so the guy decided to set himself a challenge. He would see if, with absolutely no artistic talent at all, he could create a piece of modern art and sell it for a profit; his hypothesis being that “most of todays modern artists are tallentless and absolutely anyone can create modern art and sell it”.

The Faux Artist was born.

The challenge would have the following guidelines:

1) The modern art must be sold for a profit i.e. more than it cost to make

2) The modern art can not be knowingly sold to friends or family of the Faux Artist

3) No-one else can help the Faux Artist in the creation of the modern art

4) There is no restriction on the type or number of mediums utilized in the art work, however must satisfy point 1

5) Any reasonable channels can be used to try and sell the art work

6) At no point must the Faux Artist lie to enhance his artistic profile
…that would just be down right dishonest, now wouldn’t it!

With these rules in place, let the experiment commence!


-The Faux Artist-

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Duh. So the measure of art is its market success? I think we have faux logic here before we get to art or artists.
The measure of commercial art... Yes, of course its the market success.

Installations etc are a whole different animal all together which this experiment isn't looking at :)


-The Faux Artist-
I think your hypothesis may be a faux one is that it is unprovable either way.
First what is 'modern art', and indeed what is 'art'? Without exploring and seeking to define what these terms mean, or acknowledging that you have certain assumptions, opinions and understandings of these terms (which may or may not be agreed upon by others observing your experiment), don't they become a little meaningless, like a question-mark (or random algebraic x or y) in the statement of your hypothesis? What does 'modern art' and 'art' mean to you?
The word talent is also loaded with possibilities and assumptions. There are those who thought Michael Jackson the very essence of Music (capital M) itself, whilst others felt (insert artist name here) had more talent in his little finger than MJ. Again, this needs exploring - what do you mean by 'talent'? What do you think 'talent' means to a curator of modern art?
Until this has been explored your hypothesis reads to me like “most of todays modern x-persons are y-less and absolutely anyone can create modern-x and sell it” (where x=an unknown set of values and y=an unknown set of values).
This isn't a meaningful statement at all. The hypothesis at first looks like information, but in this light, with the x's and y's, it seems more to frame an absence of information...
How much are you aware that very often, outcomes from unformed hypotheses such as these tend to prove what the experimenter already believes rather than generate any new questions or answers?
Obviously not everything sold is art. Many things not sold are art (Sistine Chapel ceiling, Book of Kells,Cave paintings at Lascaux, etc). Things sold as art once can be drastically devalued (19th century official salon or academic painting, say) while things overlooked for centuries (such as the paintings of Vermeer) may be radically re-evaluated. Does this suddenly make them art? Unmake them as art? Is art decided solely by market activity? Clearly it has not been. Why think that has changed?

It will not be enough to make it art by selling it.

Commercial art is generally understood as a branch of advertising, or more recently, marketing. Illustration of various kinds is not enough to qualify as art. A gum wrapper or detergent box is not in and of itself art. Although they may feature a certain kind of picture. But not all pictures are art, not all art is pictures.

Neither picture nor selling will be sufficient to qualify as art.
"Obviously not everything sold is art. Many things not sold are art"

Never thought about this before. Well-made point indeed.
In one breath its said that art can not be defined and that everyone's opinion on art (or music, as you say) is different.

Then in the next, its contradicted by saying that my 'interpretation' of art in the selling of a piece is insufficiant.

Surely can my definition is just as valid as your definition if this is indeed the case, as you say it is?

Interesting... ;-)


- The Faux Artist -
Of course all responses are subjective and you are entitled to your opinion but if you are alone in holding it then you might consider the possibility that if not "wrong", it is unique in it's rightness. Sanity is statistical.
I'm not saying art can't be defined. I'm not sure Bruce is either. But whethere subjective or objective, the test of selling fails to secure art's identity by common sense or logic.
Which begs the next irksome question, if by common sense or logic., the test of selling fails to secure art's identity - what does? What makes art art?
I don't have a comments-sized answer to that Mike.

Instead you must go to www.depictionandpainting.net and read chapters 1-10.
Avid fan that I am, dear CAP......... and read it I will, what the world craves are bite sized answers. Like Shredded Wheat for those who've been to Tate Modern and feel themselves possessed of an aesthetic bent. But try this for size - if post modernism came replete with the news that there are no meta-narratives, why are we still asking meta-questions?
@ Mike:

And if it didn't?

Arguments for pluralism and against post-structuralist and so-called postmodernist views are taken up in Chapters 7 and 8.

As for that overbite - I'd see an orthodontist or go back to Gombrich.

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