Archive for painting

Bloody Hell! Amy Winehouse and Pete Doherty “bloody painting” sells for £35,000

Posted in Culture with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 15, 2012 by Robin Gosnall

A painting smeared with the blood of Amy Winehouse and Pete Doherty has sold for £35,000. Their bloody collaboration, Ladylike, was purchased for less than half the amount it was hoped to reach at auction.

Ladylike was one of twenty bloody paintings on display in an exhibition of Doherty’s work at The Cob Gallery, Camden, London NW1. The sanguine sketch of Winehouse, described as a bloody self-portrait, was expected to sell for between £50,000 and £80,000. Auctioned by a private seller, it was listed alongside several other bloody paintings, as well as Doherty’s bloody guitars, clothes and diaries.

“Amy was on the phone to her dad when she did that,” Doherty told the Independent. “She said, ‘Dad, I’m with Pete and he’s making me draw with my blood!’ He didn’t like me much, her dad.”

Doherty takes great pride in his artworks’ “arterial splatter”, for which he cuts his bloody finger or fills a syringe with his own blood. “It plays the starring role in my work … sweat and tears are often waiting in the wings.”

An undisclosed percentage of the sale price for Ladylike will be donated to the bloody Amy Winehouse Foundation.


The Gosnall Twins

Posted in Culture with tags , , , , , , on September 1, 2010 by Robin Gosnall

Master Thomas and Master John Gosnall of Bentley, c.1745, painted by Franz Cusaude.

Do you hate modern art? What about modern music?

Posted in Culture, Music with tags , , , , , , , , , on May 22, 2010 by Robin Gosnall

I think the principal problem with someone saying that they “hate modern art” is the dismissal of a lot of very diverse works completed over a century or so, in widely differing circumstances by a host of unconnected artists.

The people who say they don’t like “modern” art are actually saying that they like paintings or sculpture to “look like something” and haven’t bothered going too far beyond that. Thus, it’s hardly surprising that, when confronted with something abstract, that they are less than impressed. It’s interesting that in those modern works which people do say they like, it is the design element which they highlight.

Music doesn’t usually start from a representational perspective – we don’t expect a dance to literally represent the dance (other than rhythmically) so people are perhaps more ready to accept more divergent sounds. I’d say however that film music has done more to bring modernist music into the wider sphere than it gets credit for.

So instruction and education is the key. The less you understand (or are prepared to understand) art – any art – the more you will be willing to dismiss entire genres outright, no matter whether it is visual or musical art.

Just having a willingness to be open to art is only the first step. While it’s true that there are musical prodigies, there are few, if any, in the written and visual arts. The reason seems clear. What we tend to see in a lot of artistic production and consumption is mirrored in a degree of experience of the world, and some sort of processing of it (meaningful or otherwise). Children don’t yet possess that (or enough of it), nor, I suggest, do adults who have never had, or have never taken, the educational opportunities to expand their horizons. I suppose I’m rather old-fashioned in that I don’t feel that anything truly worth having comes easily, and that the big, insightful benefits in art only come with study and reflection.

The irony is that in order to see the “plain truth” about artworks, you need to understand a lot more than most of the “I know what I like” brigade are prepared to be bothered with.

£10,000,000 Hockney

Posted in Culture with tags , , , , , , , on December 9, 2009 by Robin Gosnall

Copenhagen, Denmark: An art work which is part of the project SevenMeters, using red blinking LED-light, to symbolise that the world is moving towards a climate catastrophe – 24km of red blinking lights will appear during the climate summit

I read recently that David Hockney’s large painting “Bigger Trees near Water” has been valued at ten million quid. As it’s been given to the Tate by the artist, the Tate’s estimate of £10m won’t be tested on the market. It’s rather like the police’s “street value” of drugs they seize – there’s no way of knowing how accurate it is.

Now, I know very little about money but when I think of all the deserving people, and causes, who are desperately short of money I can’t help feeling there’s something wrong here.

I admire a lot of modern (and “modernist”) painting: Mark Rothko is among my favourites. I think “Bigger Trees near Water” is rather a nice picture, but is it really worth ten million as a work of art? One reason anyone would pay ten million for it is because they expect its value to double or treble when the artist dies, I suppose.

One thing about a tangible artefact like an original painting is that the thing itself can be owned. Of course someone could buy the manuscript of “The Minotaur” (if it were for sale) but you couldn’t own the opera in the same way as you can own a painting.

I know some visual artists are dissatisfied with this situation and some have tried to create works of art that cannot be owned, for example Martin Creed and his illuminated empty room.

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