Friday, 9 November 2012

Sod Art, Sell Henry Moore

Farewell then, 'Old Flo'. Tower Hamlets Council is selling Henry Moore's Draped Seated Woman and taking the filthy lucre. So it moved from a London housing estate to the green fields of Yorkshire (where it currently resides) and finally into the hands of whoever is rich enough. This is how it must be in a world where money means more than idealistic notions of Art For The People. The dumb proles didn't deserve it anyway.

Independent mayor, Lutfur Rahman, overruled his councillors and set a fine example for the country and others in his position. There have been so many cuts in council funding that any artistic treasure within the bounds of a borough is begging to be sold. Sold for better bins, road markings, signs and, at a push, affordable housing, perhaps. Sold for the sake of boosting the council's coffers. Sold because Art is worth so much, the cost of everything  being more important than its true value.

Everything must go. Sell that which supposedly represents the antithesis of mere material wealth because Art today is a market place like any other. Art is not for The People to either make or appreciate. It is a specialist product manufactured by the few with good agents and rich buyers. Like celebrities, like football stars, like Pop stars, The Artist is one more manifestation of what it means to be a Success in the Western world, success being measured in the accumulation of wealth and all the glittering prizes it buys. This the age of the pragmatist, not the dreamers who petition and plea for reason based on lofty ideals.

Pawn shop politics will see councils cashing in all their useless treasures, such as statues that have cluttered the streets for years, where they are vandalised and rarely appreciated, because what do the plebs know of Art? They only know of jobs and housing, football and tabloid gossip. Which of them would miss a statue? What do they dream of and aspire to other than being famous? Teach them a lesson and let it be this: a lump of bronze called 'Art' can be worth millions, and that is what matters.


  1. Despondent. That's the only word I can think of right now.
    I had the good fortune to grow up not far from Moore's home 'Hoglands' and my mum studied sculpture and was friends with one of his assistants, so I was exposed, very naturally, to a lot of his work as a child in the '70s. Then I lived and worked in a new town where a couple of his pieces added a welcome sense of humanity to the urban concrete landscape. Somehow they weren't a big deal, they weren't like precious art, they were just like features in a face, adding character and warmth. To my mind you just can't put a value on that in monetary terms.
    I really hope this incident doesn't start a trend.

  2. there's something wrong with this country - we need a doctor, quick!


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