Morning Women, the Triumph of the Trivial, Dots, the Invasion of Normandy…and Free Stuff

May 10, 2020

The person who writes for fools is always sure of a large audience. – Arthur Schopenhauer

I have to share a sweet moment with you. I really enjoy my morning routine, especially now during the ‘Rona. It’s my time to hone my coffee pour-over skills, focus on client matters, read that thing we used to call a newspaper, and enjoy some great music in peace and quiet. I enjoy it so much that I created a morning playlist via Spotify, which, unbeknownst to me at the time and without direct intention, turned out to be comprised entirely of women artists. The 4 ½ hour list, Morning Women, is a collection of unique and very talented women singer-songwriters, mostly from the Texas / Southwest region. I hope you too find it to be more than a feeling. Last week a few readers emailed me (one texted at one in the morning) asking why I hadn’t mentioned the dematerialization of a Damien Hirst painting. You know, the shenanigan where a group of Brooklyn hipsters cut up a $30K Hirst print and sold each dot for $480 a piece. I didn’t mention it because I thought the idea was about as fresh as a month-old diaper. But here we are, changing diapers.

According to these hamsters—and The Fashion Law Blog (yes, you read that correctly)—this act was a “critique” of art as commodity, artist as brand, and the art market. Blah, blah, blah. Artnet, the bastion of online art journalism, touts the group of “artists” as being “known for its ‘news-making stunts that straddle the lines of conceptual art, contemporary design, and internet gaggery’”. Artspeak…today’s commodity and currency.

Since the art discussion concerning this romper room is not that interesting, we are of course left with the legal question concerning the shredding of an artist’s work, presumably without his consent. Unfortunately that legal quesiton is as refreshing as used mouthwash. What is that legal discourse, you ask? The 1990 Visual Artists Rights Act, which is also about as useful as (a) a 1970s typewriter for dancers and choreographers, (b) dancers and choreographers, or (c) all of the above. All you need to know about VARA (sounds like my favorite Almodovar film), is that it is the 1990 U.S. law protecting the soul and aura of the artist and enacted, drum roll please, after the so-called death of the author. Oh, yeah! It was also the law that applied in two cases that are now part of the VARA Hall of Fame: Mass MoCA v. Büchel and the 5Pointz Michelangelos v. Property.

Here’s a free dot for you.

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