|The million-dollar piece of... art|
From Yahoo News:
A million-dollar mistake in German museum
File this one under "O" for "Oops." A cleaner with the best intentions accidentally destroyed a piece of art worth more than $1 million when she removed what she thought was a "stain" from the installation. Spoiler alert: It wasn't really a stain.
The piece of art, titled "When It Starts Dripping From The Ceilings," features a series of wooden planks and a (formerly) discolored plastic bowl. The artist, the late Martin Kippenberger, intended for viewers to understand that the bowl had been discolored by water running over the pieces of wood.
Unfortunately, the bowl isn't so discolored anymore. A spokesperson from the art museum in Dortmund, Germany, remarked that "it is now impossible to return it to its original state." The cleaner was apparently unaware that she was supposed to stay at least 20 centimeters away from the works of art.
Kippenberger died at the age of 43 in 1997, but he left behind a large collection of work. Roberta Smith of the New York Times said he was "widely regarded as one of the most talented German artists of his generation." Like many of the greats, his work has grown more valuable since his death. In 2005, a Kippenberger painting went for more than $1 million.Beyond parody. We too have an modern "art exhibit" here at Stony Brook. One of the pieces is an old broken television set with a cracked screen on a cheap wood table. There are security devices that protect it.
Art is like dreams in Freudian psychology-- it is the royal road to the unconscious, in this case the road to the metaphysical abyss into which modern secular society is swirling. Less and less are we taking seriously the fundamental questions of life-- how can we know God-- what does He want of us-- what is our destiny? These questions were reflected in the astonishing beauty of Christian art in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance.
We are forgetting the questions. We accept transparently idiotic arguments that there is no objective moral law and that everything came from nothing. Our inner life is turning to junk. Our art reflects it.
Tom Wolfe had another take on modern art. In the Painted Word, Wolfe suggests that modern art is the currency of the dialogue among the narcissists of the art world and their wealthy patrons. Modern art is not meant for us, and it's not about us, Wolfe observes.
But I think it is about us.