25 Comments

  1. Despite what other folks think, it’s my fervent belief that Jackson Pollock sold a drop cloth as art as a joke and it made lots of money. So, he perpetuated the joke by making more drop clothes. I saw a video of him “painting” and he looked like he was thinking, “Act natural, the camera is focused on us. Think about this next bit and dribble! Ok, it’s not art, but at least I didn’t paint a single white line on a blue painted canvas!”

    https://nypost.com/2013/05/15/43-8-million-for-this/

  2. “Worth”? I think not. “Salable for,” I’ll accept. I would definitely pay more for this Speed Bump than for the Pollock, except for the resale factor.

  3. I do understand that Pollock (allegedly) put thought and purpose into every splatter.

    The part that’s difficult to accept is that the EXACT SAME collection of splatters increases in value from $5 to $50 million because somebody discovered that Pollock painted it.

    My son owns a faux-Rothko painted by an art school friend. Aesthetically, I would just as soon hang the faux-Rothko on my wall as a genuine Rothko.

    EDIT: And I see Boise Ed just wrote essentially the same thing. I need to be more careful about refreshing the page, I guess.

  4. I think we discussed this previously, the banana duct-taped to the wall (which someone then ate) and Banksy’s famous drawing that shredded once it was sold and has increased in price every since.

    I like the fact that – hard as it is to see – the painter/poo-flinger/artist is wearing a beret.

  5. It’s worth whatever someone will pay for it. As for is the real thing worth more than someone aping the style (intended), I’d say the real Rothko (or Pollock) is more significant because it came from an innovator in the field and wan’t simply copying an established artist. I will concede that the “fine art” market is nuts, though.

  6. Was it thru here that I learned about Edward Hopper’s mentor, Martin Lewis?
    https://www.messynessychic.com/2019/12/20/moonlight-etchings-of-the-forgotten-artist-who-taught-edward-hopper/
    (and I much prefer Lewis’ work to Hopper’s)

    And in my INBOX drops the following . . . from NPR:
    It isn’t hard to imagine yourself inside an Edward Hopper painting. Now, for $150 a night, you can sleep in one — or a reproduction of one — at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond. Designers have constructed a 3D version of Hopper’s 1957 Western Motel and invited Hopper fans to sleep over.
    https://one.npr.org/?sharedMediaId=792390547:792976390&utm_source=npr_newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_content=20200102&utm_term=4317921&utm_campaign=news&utm_id=48863303&orgid=309

  7. Is Western Motel really iconic enough for that? Now, put a Nighthawks lunch counter in the museum cafeteria, and you’re going to see crowds.

    (Though of course that’s not the Hoper painting thus museum owns)

  8. “(Though of course that’s not the Hoper painting thus museum owns)”

    And there’s your answer . . . maybe this event will make the painting more well-known, thereby increasing its price-value.

  9. “put a Nighthawks lunch counter in the museum cafeteria, and you’re going to see crowds” – but then of course it won’t look like or have the atmosphere of the source painting. Every visitor needs to have their own individual lunch counter setup with four extras wrapped in their own worlds, and plenty of space. So if there are “crowds” of visitors to be satisfied, you would need to build and light dozens or even hundreds of different lunch counters, all eerily depopulated.

  10. A few years ago some mathematician or other found an easy way to tell a fake Jackson Pollock from a real one. The real ones have fractal patterns that the fakes do not. But he was also able to generate a painting with fractal patterns by hanging a paint can with a hole in it from a tree branch on a windy day. Which I guess tells you that the art forgers were trying their best to get something that looked like a Pollock and failing while Pollock himself was only concerned about the process and not at all about the appearance of the final product.

  11. @Narmitaj: “build and light dozens or even hundreds of different lunch counters, all eerily depopulated”; this would be performance art!

  12. As for Pollock – at least some of action paintings seem to penetrate the surface of the world and represent the fizzing realm of atoms and electricity and the very small constantly in motion, like this one I have seen in Tate Modern: https://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/pollock-summertime-number-9a-t03977

    Though Pollock himself seems to see it as representing energies within people, rather than fundamental physics. And that one particularly looks like a lot of frenzied dancers. But still. I really like it. It’s not just a random splodge of circular splattery spatter.

  13. And image how much MORE popular it’d be with Elvis and Marylin!

    Heck, I wanna play poker with dogs!

  14. There’s something about “Nighthawks” that draws creative types to recreate it. Numerous model railroaders have built “tributes” to it on their layouts. There was also even a full-sized mockup installation in a popup: https://www.designboom.com/art/edward-hoppers-nighthawks-recreated-as-3d-pop-up-installation/

    There have been numerous parodies as well:
    https://arnoldzwicky.org/2012/09/09/nighthawks/
    https://cromwell-intl.com/travel/usa/new-york-nighthawks/

    Artist Joe Fig has created miniature replicas of famous artists and their studios, including
    Jackson Pollock:

    https://www.joefig.com/historical
    https://artistshomes.org/article/small-powerful
    https://mymodernmet.com/joe-fig-miniature-inside-the-painters-studio/

    And thanks to Andrea’s link, maybe now I should seek out some of Martin Lewis’ wonderful work just so I can meet a young lady and ask if she wants to come up and see some etchings.

  15. I finally got to see Nighthawks last year and I was profoundly disappointed: in person it’s very flat, and might as well have been a high-resolution photocopy.

    Of everything I saw at the Art Institute of Chicago that day, I don’t think Nighthawks would have made the top ten. It wasn’t even the best painting in the room.

  16. CIDU Bill: What DID you like at the Institute? Picasso’s Guernica was impressive, but isn’t there any longer. Which works left you with a good impression and memory?

    Gustave Caillebotte’s Rue de Paris, temps de pluie (Paris street, rainy day) was – and still is – the painting with the most enduring memory I have of the Art Institute of Chicago. Guernica and its placement was impressive, but Rainy Day stays with me in my heart.

  17. There were a number of paintings I enjoyed there, but there’s something special about seeing, in person, a painting you’ve known for most of your life, like the Caillebotte you mentioned, Picasso’s Old Guitarist, Motley’s Nightlife, van Gogh’s Bedroom, and A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte.

    Nighthawks, though, might as well have been an illustration in the museum catalog, and I felt no inclination to linger.

  18. I still remember the surprise I felt when I first saw the painting of “Napoleon Crossing the Alps” in a museum here in Berlin. The thing is huge (about nine feet tall, and seven feet wide), which one would never suspect from the little images that appear in books.
    P.S. Bill passed within 50 feet of the painting during his visit to Berlin a few years ago, but the museum was closed at the time.

  19. Andréa, I saw Guernica when it visited New York some years back. Very impressive.

    The museum was selling Rue de Paris, temps de pluie unbrellas, and I was tempted to get one; hen I remembered I hadn’t used an umbrella for decades, and bought Nighthawks refrigerator magnet instead.

    Seeing the painting in person might have been a disappointment, but I remain a fan.

  20. Hubby bought me that umbrella years ago. I’m afraid to ever use it – Florida rains tend to come in horizontally anyway – ’cause I KNOW I’d just leave it somewhere.

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