Monday, October 13, 2008

Art house

When he exhibited a urinal at the Society of Independent Artists exhibition in 1917, Marcel Duchamp's revolutionary gesture was to reimagine the everyday world as a source of readymade objects for the artist, thus shifting the focus of art-making from a craft practice to an intellectual activity. The everyday object became art because it was chosen to be so by the artist. But these transactions between life and art don't only flow in one direction. The everyday world -- and particularly the advertising industry -- frequently uses art as a source of readymades for its own less highbrow business.

Here are a couple of dubious examples I've noticed recently.

From my walks around suburbia: local real estate agents cite art film as blue chip marketing device.

And from The Press's new Weekend magazine: Thomas Gainsborough's Heneage Lloyd and His Sister (1750s) is brought right up to date with the addition of a jet ski and a spanking new executive residence.

Why buy portrait when you can afford landscape indeed? Nice.

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