Expensive Bacon

Yahoo has a headline that reads:

Bacon masterpiece nets £21 million at London auction

And I think, wow! Now that is some expensive bacon. 

Wrong. The bacon was actually Bacon. Francis Bacon. The artist:

A painting by Irish-born artist Francis Bacon has been sold at Christie’s in London for £21.3m (€25.36m).

The Portrait of Henrietta Moraes had been in the hands of a private collector for 30 years and unseen in public for 15 years.

Francis Bacon’s Portrait Of Henrietta Moraes sold for 21 million pounds at Christie’s

The price exceeded expectations, making the painting the second most valuable work of post-war contemporary art ever sold at the auction house, behind another Bacon work, Triptych, which sold in 2008 for just over £26.3m (€31.3m).

Here is the link where I got the above picture of Francis “Crispy” Bacon’s art. The site is in a Scandinavian language. Like Swedish.

It’s nothing to write home about, the painting. More lousy, fake art. But that other bacon has got me thinking about a BLT masterpiece.

Real Art Vs. Fraudulent Junk

Julian Beever, Coca Cola Bottle

The above sidewalk art, by Julian Beever, requires real talent to pull off. That Coke bottle has perfect perspective. Truly, I have no idea how he made it so realistic. Some background info on the artist:

Julian Beever is an English chalk artist who has been creating trompe-l’œil chalk drawings on pavement surfaces since the mid-1990s. He uses a projection technique called anamorphosis to create the illusion of three dimensions when viewed from the correct angle.

In 2010, Beever released a book Pavement Chalk Artist, which includes photographs of many of his works from around the world.

I am often hard on artists and the art world in general. This article explains several reasons why:

Why is art so damned expensive?

There is a pile of simple, and basically unsatisfying, explanations. There’s scamming: The veteran New York dealer Arne Glimcher speaks of the “scuzzy” people who keep the Warhol market hot by manipulating his auctions.

Simon de Pury, chairman of Phillips de Pury auction house, has counted a dozen other price boosters. He says a bigger picture is always worth more than a small one. He notes that you pay a premium for a piece once owned by someone famous. And he points out that something that has been shown in a museum is worth extra.

Neo Rauch’s Suche sold at Christie’s for $1,082,500 in 2010

I wonder what art dealers do with junk that does not sell?

“If I can’t sell something, I just double the price.” That’s what Ernst Beyeler, the great Swiss dealer who helped found Art Basel, reportedly said.

Richard Prince’s Country Nurse sold for $2.9 million in 2009

Am I blaspheming the art world by appreciating a sidewalk artist over the two frauds above? I guess I don’t care. We will end with a picture that displays a trait rarely seen before in modern art circles, patriotism:

Julian Beever, 4th of July

As noted, Mr. Beever is British and he celebrates the United States with his art. (Yes yes, that is the flag on the sidewalk. But is a chalk drawing. It is not a cloth Stars and Stripes on the ground. I’ll gladly forgive him, his intention is good. . .)