Tag Archives: artwork

Art Journal: Art is for everyone… is it really?

“Don’t think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it’s good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.” – Andy Warhol

Recently, one of the world’s leading auction house, Sotheby’s, held an incredible livestream auction titled, “Rembrandt to Richter”, which helped boost the auction house’s sale to $192.7 Million for the year. Despite the slowing down of business due to COVID-19 pandemic, it seems to me that the world in which Arts exist seems to operate under a different set of economic rules. The exhaustingly large sum amount of money float around the Arts is not something I want to talk about here, I just want to share an opinion piece to challenge the reality that art, is simply not for everyone.

Source: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/28/arts/design/sothebys-banksy-rembrandt.html

One of the piece that was sold to a private buyer that night was this remarkable self portrait by the renowned Dutch artist, Rembrandt. This painting created in 1632 was sold for the exorbitant amount of $18.7 Million. Throughout his life, Rembrandt must have painted plenty of work, with around eighty self-portrait, but have you ever wonder, how many of his work are actually available to be viewed by the public?

Once an artwork is sold in an auction to a private buyer, there’s a high chance that the general public will no longer able to view said great work. Here’s a small list of artworks that were sold and haven’t been seen since,

  • Leonardo DaVinci, Salvator Mundi, sold in November 15th, 2017 for a staggering $450.3 Million
  • Mark Rothko, White Center (Yellow, Pink and Lavender on Rose), dubbed the Rockefeller Rothko sold in May 2007 for an astonishing $72.84 Million, setting the record for the most expensive post-war work of art sold at auction at the time
  • Vincent van Gogh, “Portrait of Doctor Gachet”, sold in May 1990 for $82.5 Million, whereabouts of the painting is now unknown

And the list could continue… But you get the point, once it is sold to a private owner, some of these great artwork simply disappeared from the public eye. The point of the creation of these wonderful artworks for the artists must have been a mean to survive, however in today’s world, these great works are photographs of our history, the story of humanity. Each artists captured his or her moment in time, the way we now publicly parade our lives on our social media platform. The comparison of the two obviously stirs slight disgust, how could one compare great work of arts to a mere fame-obsessed social media posts, but the reality is sadly, our generation seems to care more about what a celebrity ate for the day than a great work by Rembrandt to disappear into a rich man’s private collection.

So, is it better than that these artworks belonged to people who truly appreciate them? Or similar to that of the social media, fame obsessed member of society, these private owner purchased these great artworks as a status symbol but never truly appreciate the meaning or the greatness of these works?


Gerhard Richter X QAGOMA

What a remarkable opportunity it is for me to be able to travel to Brisbane recently and witness the amazing retrospect exhibition of Gerhard Richter. The exhibition was held in Queensland Gallery of Modern Art in Brisbane’s cultural precinct on the South Bank area. It took the gallery 5 years to put this amazing exhibition together, with many artworks are personally loan from the artist’s own personal archive. Richter is known to be experimental with his work, but most known for his Abstract work and his ability to blur the line between a painting and a photograph.

One of the work that completely took me off guard is a black and grey painting of baby Richter and his Aunty. I personally decided not to took a photo of the work, our of respect to the tragic story behind the painting, as well as my selfish reason of wanting to keep the emotional affect the painting had on me to myself. Grey is Richter colour of choice that helped him detached to an emotional experience, aside from his brilliant colourful abstract, his monotone works are some of my personal favourite. Richter’s memento mori series of painting, like the one above called “Two Candle” on loan from Leeum Samsung Museum of Art, Seoul – South Korea, are personally, one of the most moving work.

Very grateful to have the opportunity to go and see Richter’s exhibition. The brilliance of his work can be seen in the above detailed photo from one of his Abstract work. Using a sponge, Richter would drag the colours across his canvas, using this technique Richter have created a unique texture to the end result. Considering his age, a sprite 85 years old of age, this exhibition may well be Richter’s last big international exhibition. So grateful is not enough to describe how I’m feeling, but I feel so enrich by the experience and wish many more people are able to experience this amazing exhibition too.

Gerhard Richter The Life of Images

Queensland Art Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA), Brisbane, Australia