Sunday, January 6, 2008

95% of art being sold on the art market is rubbish

I wanted to post this essay and my short response to start the dialogue about art the art world and the "emperors New Clothes" syndrome that is all too prevalent.

I spend most my time on this blog talking and writing about the joys of collecting, an enjoyment that should only increase as one begins to trust your gut, learn what they like and continue to educate themselves about the artist and their art.

I want to warn new collectors against being swindled, nothing I can imagine would turn me off more then realizing that I had been fed a line and took home “art” that sits in storage. Collectors should remember the event of buying a painting as a special experience. We artists should feel confident that when we are selling or our work is being sold for us that the buyers are having a great time, one they can remember each time they look at the painting.

It is important to find people you trust and to learn to trust yourself.
The first rule of collecting is to buy what you like, I would be very wary if an artist or a dealer tried to sell art on investment purposes alone.

It’s True, 95% of Art is Rubbish !!!

Nicholas Forrest is an art market analyst, art critic and journalist based in Sydney, Australia. He is the founder of, writes the art column for the magazine Antiques and Collectibles for Pleasure and Profit and contributes to many other publications.

Posted on January 4, 2008.

I am here today to tell you that 95% of art being sold on the art market is rubbish, yet only a small percentage actually gets recognised as being rubbish. The fact that there is so much shit art on the market could be a good thing for the art market because it makes the good art look even better but there is a problem in that people actually buy the rubbish art.
One of the main reasons that there is so much rubbish art on the market, and so much rubbish art being sold, is that people are afraid to say anything negative about an artwork. The reason that people are afraid to voice a negative opinion of an artwork is that they think that other people will think that they are naive, stupid, or not culturally advanced enough to be able to appreciate or understand the artwork. Because everyone is so afraid of looking stupid they say that they like an artwork even when they don’t which has a snow ball effect to the point that so many people say that they like an artwork that they actually begin to believe it, which causes other people to believe it, and so on..
One of the tactics that galleries, auction houses and other art sellers use to create the impression that an artwork is better than it really is, is to create over-intellectualized, complicated and indecipherable descriptions or analyses of an artwork that are designed to sound extremely impressive yet be so complex that people don’t realise that what they are reading is complete rubbish. For some reason people seem to think that what a gallery or dealer says about an artwork has to be true and that an artwork must be good if the description or analysis of an artwork is complex and sounds impressive.
When investing in art is of the utmost importance that you stick to the factual information and statistics that can’t be manipulated because almost any artwork can be made to sound good.


This blog could so easily come off as mean spirited and angry, but you have really nailed something that has bothered me for as long as I have been looking at art. When I read long and esoteric explanations of what is in essence a form of visual language it often becomes obvious that they are compensating or worse yet even trying to trick or guilt an audience into examining a not very good piece of work.

I would like to learn what your thoughts are on the place of beauty as a subject and celebration of is in art.

All the Best,
Michael Orwick
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