Friday, January 19, 2007

Newly Deads

People are funny creatures. Just yesterday, we heard that a local artist had passed away. No funny stuff—just old age. Since his death, though, his family members have raked in around $100,000 in art sales. Can somebody please explain this to me?

I don’t understand why deceased artists manage to clear out their entire collection of pieces in such a short time (for a hefty price too, probably), when so many up-and-coming (and really good!) artists live relatively hand to mouth for their entire lives. (Not mentioning any names of course… Cough! er.. Cough! um.. Double hack and a cough!) It’s not just that, either. That deceased artist probably (by comparison) struggled with art sales while he was still alive. I can’t say this for sure, of course (seeing as I don’t know who the artist was), but I doubt he ever experienced a weekly windfall of 100 grand until it was too late. What is it about death that makes artwork so appealing?

Needless to say, one thought led to another, and it wasn’t long before we started debating the merits of faking Marty’s death. (Our pros and cons list looked something like this: Pros- $100K! Cons- the whole going to hell thing...) In Operation Windfall, Marty would suddenly and tragically ‘pass away’, and I, the weepy 'widow', would then hawk his remaining paintings to the now-mourning public (for double the price… Maybe even triple). I would make an award-winning (but highly unethical) documentary film about the whole experience, and then people might think more about supporting artists while they are still alive, too.

And what would we do with our $100K?

Well, some people might go nuts with buying luxury items—a sports car, a house, a boat, perhaps even a boatful of cashmere yarn—but Marty and I are yearning for only one thing: studio space. If we suddenly had a large amount of disposable income, we would get his studio out of our dining room and into a Room of Its Own where it belongs. I would get a studio for crafting, and I would decorate it with all of my kitschy knick-knacks that have been stashed away for much too long. We might get a dining room table—our first in three years!— and then we could haul out our classy dining room set that we received as a wedding gift and haven’t even opened yet. We might decide to have people over for dinner! Lap. Of. Luxury.

The truth is, we would never actually fake Marty’s death. But we will continue to support local (living!) artists as much as we can. I’m not one for bossing people around too much, but I suggest y’all do the same. Artists, artisans, and crafters earning a living wage-- while they are still alive? Now that would be funny.

The John Lennon Wall in Prague, CZ


Robin said...

Hey, I love the idea of a documentary about the fake death of an artist! What a great message. We should all appreciate people more before they head off to the afterworld.

Terra said...

I agree, its just like at a funeral where the deceased always sounds like a saint, did the people talking that way say that about him/her when they were alive?

Your movie would be the opposite of waking Ned Devine (cute movie by the way)