Curator & Art
In 1961, Italian artist Piero Mazoni surprised the world with a controversial work that he showed in Pescetto Gallery. This work was supposed to create a voracious review about the art market, making the point that everything can be bought as long as it is under the name of a great artist, and protected by the critics and gallery people chosen by the contemporary artist atmosphere.To do that, he defecated in some cans and wrote in them ‘artist’s defecations’. Ironies of life, those cans have been acquired by museums and collectors from all over the world, reaching prices as 124.000€. This way, the great Manzoni showed once again his geniality and he hit us in our faces showing us that, in the art world, everything counts. Keep in mind that this is a permission that only great artists can use, because not to be true, even though the concept is brilliant, they don’t stop being defecations in a can which have been used to show the necessity of some of us, and why not, so that Manzoni could laugh at the expense of the investors and the ones that think they ‘know about this’. However, I doubt that those cans (despite the fact that they would keep being interesting), would have caused the same impact if the work had ‘no name’.
In relation to Art Fairs, Madrid is entering its moment. Because of that, it’s not weird that the discussions about the Art Market come back even stronger than before, and even Manzoni’s concepts resurge. Not everything is art, and no, not everyone is an artist; however, there are a lot of pieces that crash into museums, fairs and galleries and get sold for astronomic numbers even though they are far away from being art.
Maybe time will say I’m right, but the fact that a gallery person or a big collector buys something, that doesn’t guaranty that ‘it’ is art. We are not discussing aspects as aesthetic and technique. We are talking about art, concepts, about something that transmits and evokes; about how art reaches its main goal: achieve the immortality of the artist through his work and, unfortunately, even though the Art Market is fundamental for the survival of this cultural manifestation and other artist. Throughout time, in some occasions, it has lost criteria, transforming into a medium of inversion in which benefits are worthier than the quality and pureness of the works.
Obviously, there are collectors whose collections will become a referent in a few decades. However, time won’t treat all artists the same way, degrading their works till they are a mere decoration object, without any relation to the critics’ opinions that they had. Surprisingly, the ones that didn’t get the attention that they deserved because they weren’t old enough, or because of their owner, etc, they will achieve the recognition that they deserved. At the end, what determines the greatness of a work and an artist, isn’t us, but that the work survives and is remembered by humanity; because time, it really knows about art and artists.
Sara Gimeno Pose
Translated by Vicky Mancebo
You can read this in spanish here.