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Archive for October, 2011|Monthly archive page

In Uncategorized on October 24, 2011 at 1:43 am


The $12 Million Stuffed Shark by Don Thompson

In Uncategorized on October 24, 2011 at 1:28 am

“There are no rules about investment. Sharks can be good. Artists dung can be good. Oil on canvas can be good. There’s a squad of conservators out there to look after anything an artist decides is art” 

Charles Saatchi

“The concept of branding is usually thought of in relation to consumer products like Coke or Nike. Branding adds personality, distinctiveness and value to a product or service. It also offers risk avoidance and trust. A Mercedes car offers the reassurance of prestige. Prada offers the reassurance of elegant contemporary fashion. Branded art operates the same way. Friends may go bug-eyed when you say “ I paid $5.6 million for that ceramic statue”. No one is dismissive when you say “ I bought this at Sotheby’s”, or “I found this at Gagosian”, or “This is my new Jeff Koons”. Branding is the end result of the experiences a company creates with its customers and the media over a long period of time – and of the clever marketing and public relations that go into creating and reinforcing those experiences. Successful branding produces brand equity, the price premium you are willing to pay for a branded item over a similar generic product. Brand equity is obvious when you purchase Coca-Cola rather than a supermarket house-brand cola. Brand equity also has a huge effect on art pricing. ” [p12]


Picture: The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living, 1992, Damien Hirst. Sold to Steve Cohen for $12 million

Money itself has little meaning in the upper echelons of the art world – everyone has it. What impresses is ownership of a rare and treasured work such as Jasper Johns’ 1958 White Flag. The person who owns it is above the art crowd, untouchable. What the rich seem to want to acquire is what economists call positional goods; things that prove to the rest of the world that they are really rich. Even if you are only moderate rich, there is almost nothing you can buy for 1million pound that will generate as much status and recognition as a branded work of contemporary art – at that price maybe a medium-sized Hirst work. Flauting a Lamborghini might be viewed as vulgar. A country house in the south of France s better, but it should have a small vineyard and a sea view. A great many people can afford a small yacht. But art distinguishes you. A large and recognizable Damien Hirst dot painting on the living room wall produces: ” Wow, isn’t that a Hirst ?“” [p16]

“In the end, the question “What is judged to be valuable contemporary art?” is determined first by major dealers, later by branded auction houses, a bit by museum curators who stage special shows, very little by art critics, and hardly at all by buyers. High prices are created by branded dealers promoting particular artists, by a few artists successfully promoting themselves, and by brilliant marketing on the part of branded auction houses. “[p 26]

Les 25 plus écoutés

In Uncategorized on October 24, 2011 at 1:23 am

La Valse

In Uncategorized on October 24, 2011 at 1:02 am

Accompagnement “C’est un atelier de l’île Saint-Louis, au fond d’une cour. La Seine a beau couler tout près, le long du quai de Bourbon, ses eaux miroitantes sont invisibles depuis ce rez-de-chaussée, fermé sur l’intérieur. Un décor misérable, crépusculaire. Le jour n’y pénètre plus depuis que l’occupante des lieux a cloué des planches sur ses volets pour obturer les fenêtres. Nul ne pénètre que par exception dans cet antre de sorcière, prison volontaire où Camille Claudel, après sa rupture avec Rodin, s’est emmurée vivante”.

Sensualité des corps

Contorsions du désir

Douleur des mots Amoureux

Violence de la réalité

Tourbillon de Tendresse

Orage de Regrets

Triste Délicatesse

Force émouvante

Valse, Vague, Vulnérable, Volée alanguie

Etreinte Passionnelle

Séparation Amer

Is this the world we live in ?

In Uncategorized on October 24, 2011 at 12:43 am

 I truly felt disgusted by the images of Qaddafi’s death.

Although I deeply hated him as a leader, the scene of his death made me feel uncomfortable. It made me think about the way these kind of extraordinary events are delivered in the press. Every day it is another of scene of horror and death. It hasn’t always been like that: once upon a time, a dead body on our screen was considered as scandalous and outrageous. Today, people seem to demand real images of dead figures to feed an apparent morbid desire to ensure they are indeed dead. I truly think that the US government fooled the whole world when they came up with this “We threw Ben laden’s body in the sea” but come on isn’t there a right balance between a complete lie and such a video ? Having watched it three times I wondered why every TV channel showed it: do they find it acceptable ? It’s like they justify these horrible images of dead by explaining that people now need proof to believe in what authorities tell them. On the other hand,  it is true that the images would have been used anyways because it was a momentous event in world history.

I could maybe understand the opinion of the Libyan population who has been oppressed under Qaddafi’s bloody regime for 42 years, but what about the rest of the world ? As far as I am concerned, I never asked to see such a scene, and yet these images have been on the cover of every single English newspaper and have been flashed up on my computer screens at any time of day or night. As I am spending some time with kids, I can ensure that brutal and violent images such as Qaddafi’s last moment do affect them; no matter how horrific his past was. I don’t believe we should allow the broadcast of such horrendous scenes, not only that is absolutely disgusting but it’s also unnecessary.

Seeing Gaddafi being insulted and beaten before getting a bullet in his head does not add anything to the story and especially does not help Libya to become a new democracy. If these are the people we will have to deal with in the future, I am not sure I should be so enthusiastic about it ( although it can hardly be worst than under Qaddafi). Is that the way we pictured Qaddafi’s last moments ? How can the International Community (despite its request for the opening of an investigation) support such a fall ? Maybe the International Criminal Court of Justice might have been useful ? Can’t we respect at least his death ? We don’t need to witness such images, and children don’t need to witness it; especially when we did not ask for it!

We are living in a society that provides a culture of violence and encourages people to demand, to expect and to see always more. Tolerance for gruesome images is clearly going up because of internet and when newspapers deliver them by publication, people are not scandalized anymore; there is simply no indignation. Was there an alternative to showing these pictures ? I believe it is wrong to show such images on a regular basis, I believe there are alternative to talk about the death of an important person and media (TV and newspaper) should maybe start consider this option before exposing us all to such images which will inevitably scar us all.

Further Reading: Dictator deaths: a (bad) taste sensation 

Late Night Questions

In Uncategorized on October 13, 2011 at 11:23 pm

Why does toast always fall buttered side down?

How come 5 out of the 7 2011 Nobel Prize Winners are Jewish so far?

Why does sex, sell ?

Why is the man who invests all our money called a broker?

What came first: the chicken or the egg?

Why is the percentage of millionaires in the US Congress more than 50 times higher than the percentage of millionaires in the general population ?

Why all the computers in American series are apple ?

Why are we never hungry the day after a hangover?

Should the fact that a country is autocratic be a key factor for investors’ decisions ?

Why  women always put on mascara with their mouth opened ?

Why is lemon juice made with artificial flavor and dish washing liquid made with real lemons ?

If not now, when ?

 Image: L’empire des Lumières, Renée Magritte, 1954


In Uncategorized on October 13, 2011 at 11:00 pm

Charles Saatchi

In Uncategorized on October 13, 2011 at 10:38 pm

My daughter of 6 wants to know if I believe in God. I don’t; but don’t want to rupture her innocence. What would you say

Innocence is overrated

What’s the best thing about Britain ?

It isn’t France. And although London is far from perfection, I love it.

My husband is hypochondriac, not in itself unforgivable, but he has now become a financial burden as our private doctor’s bills are mounting exponentially. A cure please ?


                          I am always scared of saying something stupid about a painting, that comes completely out of left-field and has not one iota of relevance to what the artist has intended or bears any reference in an art historical context. Do you have a clever-sounding one-liner that I could use ?

 “ Very interesting use of perspective” It applies to anything, believe me.


Selfridges or Harrods ? Love Selfridges. Hate Harrods

What is your guiltiest pleasure ?

If it’s a pleasure, where does guilt enter into it?

The contemporary art world is perceived as being very elitist and exclusive. What kind of an advertising campaign could you create in order to amend this conception so that it is a more accessible to people ?

The best advertising campaign would be a large museum filled with the latest contemporary art, some of which is controversial, all of which is interesting, centrally located in the Kings Road London, in a beautiful, airy building with vast and perfectly lit rooms, and allow the public in free of charge.

Do you belive in abortion ?

There are number of people I have come across whom I feel would have benefited from this drastic, but understandable in the circumstances, precaution.

Do you send your children to posh schools ?

One of our children’s first school was so posh, that when a teacher asked the class “ who is Mohamed?” a small boy stuck up his hand and quietly answered “ our chauffeur”.

Vienna or St Tropez ? Both Creepy.

Do you feel that the glass is half-full or half-empty ?

Either way, drink it and fill it up again.


Reflections on Jewish Life

In Uncategorized on October 13, 2011 at 10:26 pm

” To explain the universe we no longer need Genesis; we have science. To control the universe we no longer need prayer; we have technology. To prevent the abuse of power we don’t need  prophets; we have elections. To achieve prosperity we don’t need blessings, we have economists.

If we fall ill we don’t go to a rabbi; we go to a doctor. If we feel guilty we no longer need confession; we can go to a psychotherapist. If we are depressed we no longer need the book of Psalms; we can take Prozac. And if we seek salvation we can go to a shopping centre where we can buy happiness at a highly competitive price.

So, who needs religion ? “

Letters to the Next Generation 2 by Lord Jonathan Sacks, p27

In Uncategorized on October 7, 2011 at 12:09 pm