From the list on understanding the crazy world of contemporary art.
Who am I?
From the moment I could pick up a pencil, I’ve loved to draw. Since then, my art career has developed alongside my writing, and I’m now a professional illustrator. Despite this background, I still feel alienated from the “art world”. Contemporary art seems like a scam. Its pieces leave me cold, there’s rarely any skill to be appreciated, and their “meaning” is often obscure or trivial – at the end of the day, a pickled sheep is a pickled sheep, right? Pale Kings is a satire of all this, where a group of chancers set out to scam the scammers at their own game. But would anyone really buy a hole?
Gareth's book list on understanding the crazy world of contemporary art
Why did Gareth love this book?
This classic text juxtaposes contemporary popular media with well-known works of art, and in doing so lays bare the hidden, timeless motives behind art production and collecting.
The book combines short articles with photo “essays”, and it’s actually the images that supply the most convincing argument. To see a Playboy centrefold alongside a nude by Ingres, or a food advert next to a still life by a Dutch master, forcefully illustrates Berger’s central point: that art is, and always has been, tied closely to commerce, commodification, and possession.
In short, art sells things – whether experiences, pleasures, values, or a particular sense of self or way of life. As such, it is a servant of those who have the power and wealth to possess these things.