The Conflicted Life of Cocky Humble viPosted: October 23, 2015
Setting: Humble Studios
Personae: Cocky Humble, a sculptor; Barnes, art agent
CH: What do you mean there’s just no demand for that kind of stuff, huh? And since when did you start referring to my work as stuff? But never mind that, I know my product is good so that doesn’t bother me. I want to understand this problem of demand. And no buts, Barnes! Give it to me straight, I’m all ears.
B: Well, it’s simple you see: a demand, rightly understood, is not what the person wants but what they request and frankly this is not it. It’s great but it’s just too complex a work. Remember they are the one percent, and when these rich persons make a purchase, they could care less about it in the aesthetic sense so long as it’s fit for the market and it’s an object that can earn them back interest on what they invest or at least hold the value. You think Giacometti’s Pointing Man would have fetched what it did if that wasn’t the case?
CH: Still doesn’t make him the best.
B: Nonetheless… he has the credit, right?
CH: So be it, I get it. I’ll start work on something else then. But I just have this to say… in fact they are John Ruskin’s words from Unto This Last in which he writes ‘… the incommunicable emotion and imagination which are the first and mightiest sources if all value in art.’
CH: All I’m saying is that I’ll do it because you’re cutting the cheque and also ’cause it’s what they request. Satisfy the demand as you say. But I hope the kind of value they prescribe or the market dictates, as you’d rather put it, is preservable. Because I know for sure that the sums I’ll be paid, no matter how great, will be squandered with as little effort as I’ll put into getting the damned sculptures made.
© Heath Muchena, 2015