Wants and Needs – art in the age of The Secret

My new favorite art site: Wants for Sale

Two nyc artists, Christine and Justin, started painting pictures of things they wanted. Visualizing, them, as it were, on canvas. Then they started selling those paintings for the exact price of that item. And voila, the item manifests.

They painted an iPhone; they sold a painting of an iPhone for $432. They got an iPhone.\

They wanted a slice of pizza; they sold a painting of a slice of pizza for about $3.00. They wanted the rent, a check for $1,056.07; they sold a painting of a rent check, and got exactly $1,056.07 for it.

They assign an arbitrary value to a painting = to what the image depicts. Each painting is about the same size, same style – what makes one worth $12.70 (buffalo wings) and another $1,000+?

The image = the reality. The Secret in action? Or the postmodern art market.

If I’m a collector, is the rent check painting worth more than the pizza painting? Not necessarily; the pizza is the earlier work, after all.

What value do we project on things? What web of interdependent wants and needs throws up this projection on a blank canvas, as it were?

Christine and Justin got the rent, after all. What’s real? What’s value? Do we make ALL this money stuff up?

And the subject of their painting is the actual object that they want. Can’t help but remind me of Ovid’s retalling of the original Greek myth of Pygmalion, the sculptor who scultped a woman so beautiful he fell in love with her; upon fervent prayes to the gods, she came to life and stepped into his arms.

So Christine and Justin’s iPhone materialized out of the canvas and stepped into their pocket. Making pictures or art into reality has long been a pattern–or a want–stuck in the patterns of the human brain. Look at the caves of Lescaux! Want a bison? Paint one and you’ll get one.

I would buy the iPhone painting. But I maybe I’ll just put an image of the iPhone painting. On my iPhone.

Like Butthead, who wanted to put a tattoo of a butt. On his butt.

Now there’s some postmoderism for ya.

Advertisements