Statement: It’s of great cultural importance.
Translation: We can make a lot of money from it.
I watched a Sky Arts programme the other night on the artist Banksy and his month long stint in New York. Each morning he would post a clue to where one of his art pieces were and everyone would flock to see it. Typically one of four things would then happen:
- Another street artist would paint over it
- the property owner would paint over it
- A group of individuals would look to remove it
- a group of individuals would look to protect it – either by covering it with plexi glass or by charging people to take pictures of it.
Out of all of them, the one that jarred was the third – especially when they followed the gallery owners who tried to justify that this art was of cultural importance. I have nothing against identifying what is or is not “important” but that the statement itself was wholly hypocritical as it was merely advertising to sell said piece for a large amount of money – when how they came by that art was at best dubious as no effort was made to identify who the actual owner could be, just that a group of individuals nicked it and then handed it over.