Are there many top dancers who can’t dance?
Are there many top actors who can’t act?
Are there many top film directors who can’t direct?
Are there many top singer/songwriters who can’t sing and write?
Are there many top musicians who can’t play anything?
Are there many top designers who can’t design?
Are there many top boxers who can’t box?
Are there any top sprinters who can’t run?
Are there many top footballers who can’t play football?
Are there many top lawyers who don’t know the law?
Are there many top accountants who can’t count?
Are there many top racing drivers who can’t drive a car?
Are there many top composers who can’t play some instrument?
Are there many top horse riders who can’t ride?
Are there many top tennis players who can’t play tennis?
Are there many top golfers who can’t play golf?
Are there many top philosophers who can’t think?
Are there many top writers who are illiterate?
So how come there are so many allegedly top artists today, such as Hirst who’s worth $1billion and Koons, who’s worth £500 million, who can’t paint, sculpt, or draw? According to apologists, it’s because art is “conceptual”; it’s about ideas. Is it? That’s a more apt description of philosophy, not art.
You could say that art is a physical manifestation of ideas, because all art has a physicality, whether it be: performance, video, installation, smells, painting, sculpture, or drawing. In 2014, Pat Kelly and Peter Oldring created a parody called, “The invisible art of Lana Newstrom”, which comprised an empty gallery with spotlights on empty spaces where gallery visitors had to imaging were paintings and sculptures. Many people and took it seriously. In 2000, Mark Creed’s, “Work No 127: The Lights Going On and Off “ involved a physical space in the form of a gallery and, of course, those bloody lights going on and off and on and off… Some claim that John Cage’s 4’ 33” was the musical equivalent, however it too required an auditorium and pianist and orchestra – even though they didn’t play anything.
Imagine applying Koons’s dictum, ““I’m basically the idea person. I’m not physically involved in the production. I don’t have the necessary abilities, so I go to the top people” to say boxing. Koons could claim to be the world’s heavyweight boxing champion by proxy. “I’m basically the idea person, I’m not physically involved in the training or fight itself. I don’t have the necessary abilities, so I go to the top people.” Is he a boxer, or a promoter?
Is he an artist, or a curator. Like Hirst, he’s a curator. How ironic, the world’s two top-earning living artists aren’t really artists at all, but curators.