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Re: street art for free: adam neate

From:     Mebby Oncurlew
Category: Art
Date:     17 November 2008
Time:     10:47 AM


In fairyland artists adopt total neutrality by curbing the constraining demands of Patronage or by not allowing themselves to be 
instrumental in the machinations of the "art market" via product placement and by association, however the rise of the air-
headed celebrity and his exigiousley cerebral shadow; the media machine, has led to many sweaty moments, filtering the truth 
from the pork pie flavoured placements by our variously guised, cool headed Pong Disposal Brigades.

Can "artists" be trusted with the truth? In the recent past the likes of the proudly avaristic Damon Hearst and his cohort of lesser 
wealth inspired YBA's contributed artworks via Nicholas Serota to the Tate Modern, for which Mr Serota was rightly grateful, as 
such "gifts" help to sustain the continuing work of the Tate Modern into the future. But it is my assertion that such gifts are trojan 
horses, insuring the illusion of a sustained popularity and, because of the Galleries standing, a falsely achieved representation. 
Should The Tate Gallery have declined the offer of free art from those established artists ? as by accepting the works they are 
effectively distorting the public response to contemporary artworks. Is it any wonder that the dreadful Jack Vettriano feels shut 
out?, have they declined his free work? We have come to expect antiquated institutions that can only justify their existence 
through agitprop to opt for charity status, remember Nicey and Mikey, Radio One DJ,s and the Royal Family mocked for singular 
charity dependence.

 Since surfing has become the cause celebre of the middle class thirty something wannabee.  Surfers Against Sewage have 
become a vehicle for among other self appointed exposure hungry Tory ministers offspring Jonathan Yeo, latching themselves 
to the charity wagon with an in depth familiarity of media manipulation, man and boy so to speak.  Popular choice of artist or self 
promoting egomaniac? Since his choice of subject is Ms Paris Hilter I would say he's made daddy proud enough not to worry 
about Damon Hearst funding most of the celebrity obsessed Yeo jnr.
I'm a Gwenver veteran by the way, I love surfing, I am furious about sewage going into the sea and if charities approach artists 
for their skills thats up to them but since galleries like the Tate are supposed to be the keepers of our cultural identity in the arts 
since the turn of the last century they may need to concentrate on their actual remit rather than becoming hoodwinked by artists 
who consider ambition to be as much a skill as their practice.
This is not a new approach as illustrated by the Medici family but a committee is far more fallible to the line of least resistance 
than the problematic autocrat and certainly post war British artists have severally, contributed their works, Henry Moore is one 
example. My concern is that some contemporary works are valued at a figure that makes a statement about the artwork, the 
asking price is no longer a simple exchange mechanism, it is a larger and more complex concept than the work itself.

Those kinds of artistic devices have been very successful,  particularly in Europe in the seventies by artists selling their own 
defecation in tins, Jeff Koons has played with values succinctly,  Hirst is a bit of a stuck record player but he would argue that 
he's replaying Warhols ready-mades in a Touché statement with far greater aplomb than I could muster. Art Guerillas such as 
"Bank" subsequently get completely overlooked by organizations like the Tate and yet Bank infiltrated British Art at an 
influential time that impacted further than the latter day materialistic posturing of artists like Hirst, Koons or for that matter, 

An interesting aspect of this free art issue posits our entire capital based existence in rapidly changing circumstances, free art is 
often free because the institutions present the work publically, if work is being given away in the same value system, it is by 
definition valueless and yet, the pupating artist looks at the Banksy Machine, and thinks, "if he can do it, so can I", but Did he 
really ?, Probably not quite that simply but my destinction would be based on how much pleasure I could get from accepting 
some free art of my choice than to having say, Anthony Gormley statues smothering a walk on the beach, I'm there for the beach 
not the "art".

The hapless consumer grabs the free eight foot wide canvas, struggles onto the free twice weekly Tesco Bus with it in the hope 
that one day, this pontificating sage who'se statement includes domestic details like moving house, going to school or doing the 
gardening will come up trumps. Meanwhile, you get a lot of happiness and a shared communal sense just blue-tacking a 
postcard to the fridge, David Hockney said that and I agree.

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