Art versus Science

Discussion in 'Ethics and Philosophy' started by gr82bart, May 6, 2007.

  1. gr82bart

    gr82bart Subscriber

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    So I'm listening to 60 Minutes and there's this report of a little old ex-tucker lady who bought a potential Jackson Pollock painting for $5. Problem is that the 'art community' - who ever that is - doesn't accept her print as original. She has no provenance on the painting.

    Anyway, that doesn't bother me so much as the following excerpt when they talked about fingerprint evidence:
    So even with fingerprint evidence, if the 'art community' doesn't think it's a Pollock, than it's not a Pollock?

    You decide and discuss. Full story can be found here: http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/05/03/60minutes/main2758110.shtml

    Regards, Art.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2007
  2. Sparky

    Sparky Member

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    Well - it seems like some big pieces of the puzzle are missing here! We have no idea how she originally approached these artworld cognoscenti. That may have a lot to do with it. It seems like so much trouble for nothing. She could simply have taken the painting to christie's and put it up for bid. No doubt Christie's and potential bidders would throw some forensic money at it. Perhaps if it was found to be a Pollock by someone like that - then people would change their tune.

    No doubt there's a bit of snobbery going on, too.
     
  3. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    What would the fingerprint prove? That he touched it? Or that he painted it? Big difference between touching the back of a canvas and painting one isn't there?
     
  4. Sparky

    Sparky Member

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    my thoughts are that - if the guy touched it while the paint was wet - it's not too likely to have been printed by anyone else - considering his style was so unique.
     
  5. AgX

    AgX Member

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    First thought: that art teacher was stingy.
    Second thought: that lady intending throwing darts at that painting bought as a joke is not worthy of the money
    Third thought: no painting is worth 50million$
    Fourth thought: this is a capitalistic world where one can do with ones property as one like; and the art world (rather the art trading business) is part of this world and has got it’s very own rules and nobody is obliged to buy something
    (That lady is said to be a bit into gambling. I guess this was fun to her up to now and thus she got her (first?) revenue already.)
     
  6. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    He touched it while moving a blank one and never touched it again.

    He started it and threw it out half finished. Some body found the half finished one and "finished" it for him

    Some body brought a painting to him to look at in his studio. He touched. Later somebody else painted over the first painting but leaving the finger print.

    From the posted article it seems most agree it isn't his style. Now maybe that's why he threw it out. But the finger print at most proves he touched it.
     
  7. my_lonely_eye

    my_lonely_eye Member

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    And who exactly is this "art community"? A panel of art snobs? The art community encompasses many mediums, not just paintings.
     
  8. User Removed

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    At first glance of the picture I really did not think it was an original Pollock. I work at the art museum here in Tucson, AZ where we have a few Pollock drip paintings, and this one just seems very different. However, I realized that the photograph they took of the painting was very poor and judging by the picture they used in the article, the painting is really off. I'm sure it was meant to be displayed horizontal also, and not vertical and you cannot really see the color or detail.

    Here is another article with better pictures- http://www.thereeler.com/features/the_50_million_question.php

    I'm sure over the years there has been hundreds of people that have copied Pollock's style. Could this be done by someone that just wanted to copy his style? Possible. But after really looking at it, I'm starting to feel it's real.

    And AGX, clearly you are not familar with the art market. $50 million for an important painting from one of the most famous painter is history is just a low estimate. I'm sure if they prove this to be a real Pollock painting, it will sell closer to $100 million.
     
  9. Terence

    Terence Member

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  11. jstraw

    jstraw Member

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  12. walter23

    walter23 Member

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    The whole story is hilariously ironic. I'm not even remotely an art historian, but I think this kind of stuff was part of the art movement that was reactionary against the bourgeois intellectual art critics, in a similar vein to the dadaists or whatever, and here's this really amusing story of art authenticity in which these $120million collectors are debating the style of the splatters, and the nature of the drip-strokes, and all that total horseshit! Jackson Pollock would probably be laughing his fool head off at all this!

    I hope the woman gets her money. I think I would have taken the $2M offer and run, but with all this controversy if it is eventually accredited by the art community it'll probably be worth a hell of a lot more than that.

    You'd think the fingerprint match would be enough to at least get some big offers on speculation (I guess maybe that $2M one falls into that category).
     
  13. jstraw

    jstraw Member

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    I'm for anything that drives the average price of art per square foot, upward.
     
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  15. gr82bart

    gr82bart Subscriber

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    LOL! That was rich.

    Regards, Art (Pun intended)
     
  16. bjorke

    bjorke Member

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    Markets correct themselves. Who cares if certain folks remain unconvinced of the value of the maybe-Pollock painting, what matters is that some people are convinced that it MIGHT be of value and therefore worth their $$ to spend as a speculative investment. The "art community" decried here is no more effective than any other politburo, given the liquid nature of any real market.

    Then again, I can't help but feel that this is perhaps a sham story, inventing and declaring some hidden star chamber of art experts (most likely all public-NEA-fund-skimming Democrats who think Andres Serrrano is their God) that just want to keep Nice Reglur Folks down & stuck in their trailer parks while those Liberal Elite Art Community types are sipping champagne in on Fifth Avenue.

    As for the acceptance of science (even, sometimes bordering on junk science, like the fractal-patterning math that's been associated with Pollock analysis), in the REAL art-sales community science is an accepted part of the market. Not an issue of ARTNEWS (or even, say, MODERN PAINTERS) seems to go by without there being at least one or two stories about scientific dating, technological art production, and various sorts of high-tech sleuthing.
     
  17. Mark Sawyer

    Mark Sawyer Member

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    When considering the aesthertics of this (or any) Pollock painting, remember that his style evolved over a great number of paintings, many were thrown out as failures, and this could have been an early or experimental piece. It doesn't look like a "mature" or "successful" Pollock to me, though I'm hardly an expert. But the fingerprint is pretty compelling...

    Regarding the snobbery of the art world, that's largely confined to the "collectors and connoisseurs", who owe the lady nothing and have as much right as anyone to be snobbish and elitist.
     
  18. jd callow

    jd callow Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    It looked like a Pollack to me. It had all the energy (anger?) and the look of many of the major lines sure as hell looked Pollack like. I agree with mark in that it didn't show some of the restraint (if the word can be used to describe a Pollack painting) of his later and more popular work. The art experts used to represent the art elite may not have been truly representative and the whole thing may be a bit of a scam -- from the truck driving flea market shopping owner through to the 60 min presentation.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 7, 2007
  19. AgX

    AgX Member

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  20. copake_ham

    copake_ham Inactive

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    I am not related to the "art world" but I am confused by your use of the term "worth".

    I work in the financial markets - the "worth" of anything, tangible or intangible, is simply what a willing and able buyer offers to a willing and able seller who, in turn, accepts the offer. So if a willing and able buyer offers $50MM or $100MM for a Pollock painting and a willing and able sellers accepts and agrees to sell it for such - then the painting is "worth" the price.

    It is nothing more than that. Obviously, "worth" can (and does) fluctuate depending on market conditions, relative supply and demand etc.

    I think what's fascinating about the 60 Minutes story (which I did not see) is that it feeds into the frenzy of an everyday kind of person "hitting it big" by combing flea markets, tag sales etc. This frenzy, fed by TV productions such as "The Antiques Road Show" etc. makes us all dream a little that behind the boring mundane picture we just bought we will find the last, long lost original of the U.S. Declaration of Independence, or the Magna Carta, or the true Shroud of Turin etc. :D
     
  21. Sparky

    Sparky Member

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    agreed, george. I find watching the antiques roadshow as depressing as it is interesting, though. SOME people seem to have genuine interest in the objects they present - though it seems MANY just want to try to cash in ... and their esteem for said objects jumps wildly if it's actually worth something...
     
  22. AgX

    AgX Member

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    Ryan, Copake_ham,
    as I’m now twice being hinted at my use of the term `worth´ there might be a linguistic misunderstanding. (Though I did not trace it in dictionaries so far.)

    In case you should not know this from other posts of mine, I’m not a native speaker.
    I just took the German usage of this word 1/1. Here it means being of value as appointed by the market. But also value from a personal perspective: what I would spend on sth. or even what I think should be spend by others.
    My apologies for not putting things clear enough.
     
  23. Joe VanCleave

    Joe VanCleave Member

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    My guess is that as soon as the lady sells the painting to a dealer or auction house, it will shortly thereafter suddenly be 'discovered' to have been a genuine Pollock, and the price will sky-rocket. Just a coincidence, though.:smile:
     
  24. percepts

    percepts Member

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  25. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    AgX,

    the difference between "Worth" and "Value" is a difficult one for us Germanic-speaking people. We must take our comfort from the long compound nouns, and the marvellous wines that the less fortunate cannot even begin to pronounce (Trockenbeerenauslese, anyone?)... :D
     
  26. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    "TRO KEN BEEREN AUS LESA" According to my dearest who's last name used to be "Klein".
    Is this close?