Blank Canvas For Sale

This month sees the auction of Turner Prize-winning Bob Law’s ‘Nothing To Be Afraid Of V 22.8.69’ work of art, which is expected to reach £60,000. This minimalist work (pictured left) demonstrates ‘… the seductive idea of nothing to a canvas, and asks the viewer to reflect’, according to the official Bonhams catalogue.

Unsurprisingly, not everyone shares such positive opinions. In fact, when I first viewed the work, in a photograph on a page of a newspaper, I was initially impressed that the artist had managed to subtly show a faint image of a man in the work. Then I realised that I was actually viewing an image from the next page of the newspaper through the paper!

More interestingly, does the fact that it is entitled ‘Nothing To Be Afraid Of V’ mean that it is one of a series of five such works?! I would love to see the journey to show how the artist has progressed from his first work to the fifth one seen here.

So will art that is so minimalist that is appears that the artist forgot to make a start on his painting actually achieve the expected sale price? Strangely I think that it may do so. Surely the definition of a someone who has more money than sense is one who would buy a blank canvas framed with sketched outlines. Especially as I can exclusively reveal that I believe the work to be a fake, since I bought what I think is the original work from a local exhibition recently, pictured below.

The eagle-eyed among you will notice an additional word that is not present on the Bonhams artefact. I believe that this has been removed from the ‘copy’ in order to maximise its sale potential. I bought this piece for the princely some of £5. Admittedly it did also include a frame worth £4.99.

This story is close to my heart as I have actually produced some minimalist art of my own. Remember, it’s what you don’t see that’s important. I call the work below ‘Lonely Cloud’ and it demonstrates the vulnerability of a new-born child as it enters the world.

Then I toiled day and night to produce this piece called ‘Impossible Chair’, which demonstrates the ultimate futility of a Godless life.

I expect either work to reach around 60 or so, if sold but, like Bob Law, probably only after I die. But honestly, I don’t do it for the money. It’s enough to know that my work can enable viewers to spend some time to reflect on what they don’t see and contemplate how it juxtaposes with what they do see. That’s time well spent.

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18 thoughts on “Blank Canvas For Sale

  1. I had to laugh when I heard this on the news. I want to meet the man/woman who buys this work of “art”. I mean you can’t imagine an OCD buying this. the border line isn’t even straight. In fact, it does bother me slightly.

  2. “I expect either work to reach around 60 or so, if sold.” Sixty what? Pence? Lira? Rupees? Drachma? The possibilities of your riches are endless…

    I see Apostle Jack was the inspiration for ‘Impossible Chair.’ You should gain eternal glory for that one. Much more valuable than gaining the king’s schilling.

  3. Stewie. I keep being put in the moderating pen whenever I make a comment. Is that the policy of your blog administration, or am I just unlucky?

  4. Holy crap I never even noticed the border wasn’t straight until you mentioned it 😮 Now my brain itches 😦

    I’m off to reflect on my godless life.

  5. I’m with Claire! 😆 This really brought a smile to my face at the stupidity of it all – but then I thought of all the kids that could be fed for that money, instead of spending on a bloody blank sheet of canvas! Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

    Unbelievable, the human race is sometimes!

  6. That is insane and hilarious. I normally tell my boyfriend off when we (very rarely) go to a museum and look at some paintings for him saying, ‘I could have done that’… but this time I have a feeling he might be right. At least draw a crude stick man in the middle of it, sheesh.

    • I maintain that there have to be some famous artists who knock something up quickly when they need some cash. There must be!

  7. When will he be coming out with, “Something to be afraid of?” maybe I can paste all my bills on a canvas and use this title. Obviously the guy is a genius, and will be laughing all the way to the bank. I have always been fascinated by art values. it seems things are valuable if rare. I thought I might live in a cave for a year, grow a beard and long hair, and paint only twelve pictures. I would then fake my own death, and then have someone sell my rare paintings.

    • I would find it deeply disturbing if Bob Laws was laughing all the way to the bank as he died several years ago! But I get your point and agree with you.

    • no one would ever buy your paintings as your bills seem more important to you than your work. This art is not about ‘getting it’ and its not a spectacle for entertainment, which you clearly seek, you are products of a generation where art needs to dance. Do a blog on being ‘robbed’ by John Cage’s music. History defines categories and we now call it minimalism, Bob Law was not ‘cashing in’ , he to had bills! But he was not afraid to extend his ideas into territories where the aesthetic spectacle is subdued-relying on that old post-modern concept of the ‘viewer’ you participate but to do that you need to think as well as look!

  8. I think there’s a long satirical post of minimalist art in here. I mean if we spent a day with MS Paint, how many do you think we could come up with? Enjoying the sarcasm in this one.

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