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  • Writer's pictureFatima Learn

Judgement And Criticism

Updated: Mar 12, 2021

Some galleries put a little red dot next to the name on the title card of artwork when it is sold. As an artist I know the red dot shouldn’t matter to any person but I find my self staring a little longer at those art pieces. I ask myself what was it about this piece that made a sale? I like to think it is curiosity but it might be me passing judgement instead. I ask myself... What did the artwork mean to the buyer? Did they see it as an investment or does it simply go with their furniture?

Art Investment?

I have seen artwork get sold at auctions and art shows. When artwork is overpriced it is usually because they are familiar popular pieces from a known artist. People recognize the artist or the work so the buyer will purchase it for that reason. When you are rich and you want to show other people you are rich then what better way then buy a recognized piece of artwork for your lounge. I believe I might be getting myself into trouble with these comments. However, it can not be denied. Art sales depends on the status symbol it gives to the higher end of the market.

I believe there are collectors who purchase based on the genius of the artwork and not necessarily for beauty but for the creativity. Now it seems that the majority of collectors look at their purchase as an investment ... this was the birth of Contemporary Art - when art became a business. I find we live in a commodity driven lifestyle and that includes the artwork in our life. With any business their are positions created. There is the production end (artists) then the stagers/sales (curators) and the managers (art dealers).

Damien Hirst is someone that comes to mind that tried to shatter that business hierarchy in the art world. In 2008 he took his art straight to the auction houses and made a fortune. This piece was sold at Sotheby’s auction for $15,300,000. Hirst went on to do more sharks in formaldehyde after this sale. Other artists applauded him for bypassing the middle people. Many also thought he was doing it solely for the money because he was knowingly selling to those who’s interest was for an investment. I personally can not imagine the true value of his artwork after discovering the outrageous amount of money that someone was willing to pay. Sometimes there is a time when the artist becomes bigger then the art.

Do you ever wonder what role judgement plays in your life? Do you judge others based on appearance or feel like you are the one being judged? I am not just talking about art now. It took years of personal growth for me to realize that you are the only person that should judge you (on this earth). it’s important to be gentle and thoughtful when you do because remember, you have to live with yourself.

Top Image - Photograph of unknown gallery.

Second Image - Andy Warhol, Dollar Sign, 1981, Synthetic polymer paint and silkscreen ink on canvas, 90 × 70 inches (228.6 × 177.8 cm)

Last Image - “Kingdom” is one of Damien Hirst’s shark sculptures. Created with a tiger shark, glass, steel, silicone, and formaldehyde solution with steel plinth in 2008.


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