BLOG23. Are there any limits on art? Damian Hirst made a skull with 8,601 flawless diamonds costing £14 million to produce. It was sold at the $100 million asking price. Good business I suppose, but as art it is certainly a special category.
Can one be more ambitious? Yes, it is possible: the American artist Christo wants to build a pyramid in the Abu Dhabi desert with 140.000 colored oil barrels. It should become the biggest sculpture in the world. According to the press Christo has convinced the royal family there to invest 262 million euro in this project. In my view this has little to do with art. Christo appears to suffer from what in social terms is called 'megalomania’, a characteristic of power-drunk or control-freak persons, persons who have a big ego. What is the problem here: the size of the budget? Or the dimensions of the ‘work of art’? Or both?
Christo is known for his ‘environmental’ works of art, mostly a variation of a ‘wrapping’ of a public building or a running fence through the landscape. Some of it may be an original idea. The size of these ‘works of art’ generally exceeds a person’s imagination. So one can debate the question if the spectator can possibly relate him/herself with such works of art, and if so, in what way?. And when relating is not really possible, if one can still speak of art? A 140.000 barrel pyramid in the desert, is it art? The Christo works generally are only temporary, videos, photos and drawings are the only traces that will remain. This pyramid will also be demolished after some time? Or will it remain as a form of landscape pollution?
There are various artists practicing so-called ‘environmental art’. Some environmental artists do not consider the damage to the environment their artwork may incur, while other intend to cause no harm to nature. It was not meant that way, but one may consider the Netherlands as one huge ‘environmental art work’, as every square meter has been digged and changed in function and appearance. Let us consider it as a specimen of Joseph Beuys "extended definition of art".Hier klikken om te bewerken.