Tuesday, August 01, 2006


I went to another art auction last night, despite telling myself that I shouldn't. What can I say? In the words of Bernard Black, "whores will have their trinkets".

A good artist must have two things; something to say and the skills by which to say it. That may sound easy, but it's difficult to acheive. The former without the latter results in ignominious failure, unless you hold the right opinions for the art crowd, in which case it just means exhibitions full of awful, politically correct dross. The latter without the former results in soulless paintings of sunsets over beaches and scenes of bucolic idyll, which sell very well but tend to leave the artist feeling like he's standing in the centre of a vast, echoing emptiness.

Ninety-nine percent of the work on offer last night could be classed, with varying levels of fairness, as 'pedestrian'. There was nothing very haunting, or eerie, or particularly edgy. If one wanted to be negative about it, there was a lot of radical pictures from the 50s and 60s that now look tired and dull, some hippie 70s dreck, bad colour combinations from the 80s, and a little corporate blandeur from the 90s.

There was only a handful that I liked, and I bought one of them:

lindsay pow

I know I keep saying this with the artworks I buy, but the painting has a lot of 'presence' that doesn't really come across in the photo. For a start it's constructed on a grand scale, being taller than I am. The colours are rich and glossy, and smeared onto the canvas with boldness and confidence. It's all blues, greens and whites; intimate, gentle colours, yet telling a story of a vast world, light-filled and living.

But undoubtedly, the star of the auction was this unassuming little picture, shown here almost lifesized, and valued between $150 and $180. It was well done and rather sweet, and if no one else wanted it, I thought I might put in a $100 offer. It would look nice in a quiet corner of my study.


It went for $3,250. Sometimes even the experts have no idea.


Anonymous MissMinnesota said...

Hola, Blandperson!
I like the small $3250 piece, too. btw, can you put me in touch with your friend who had the Bibleopoly game? I need to get a copy of the rules. Sorry, but I've run out of ideas as to how to get the rules elsewhere. that's what you get for blanding on the internet about playing it. thanks, you're a doll!

3:14 PM  

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