‘You need to cross the path the artist shows you’, according to an expert on this video about next week’s contemporary art sale at Sothebys – http://www.sothebys.com/video/privateview/N08441/index.html. A Bacon Triptych, a Rothko and a Murakami sculpture feature; as the artists’ inspiration and creative process are dissected. Colour, form, material and context come into question, as do the historical influences of the texts. Two weeks ago this photograph appeared in The Times:
Photography of premiership footballers as homage to Michelangelo and 15th century Renaissance painting may seem a rather tenuous link, but who knows what was in the mind of the editor when he selected this shot? How many of the Times readership also registered this image as a reminder of Christ being taken down from the cross, when they looked at Lampard being consoled by his team mates? As much as there are only 7 narratives in circulation, how many images are there in our sub conscious? How far back can a thread be traced? What is the influence on the author? Cave paintings? Frescoes? Religious icons? Are Bacon and Rothko reinventing the wheel? And what is the consumer to make of this… One of my ideas would be to take one painting in a gallery and then observe its audience. Select only six or seven very different participants; male/female, young/old, expert/novice etc… and peel away the readings. The Uncanny as familiar yet elusive. The interpretation of art over time… An understanding of The Last Supper now, in the wake, and I wish it was the wake, of Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code… Mary Magdalen erased as wife and mother… The Mona Lisa as transexual wannabe. What is the truth… if there is a truth at all.