Friday 17 September 2010

Art is in the eye of the beholder

I think I've woken with a hangover (again) and am a fair bit grumpy. Fortunately The Boy's demand for £15 for a new rugby shirt didn't seem to unreasonable in my haze first thing.

Last night The Cat's Mum and I went to the British Art Fair at the Royal College of Arts. We went last year, but the difference this time was that we returned home together.

At the show, the stands were manned by the largest gathering of Ruperts and Mirandas to date. Slack jawed, floppy-haired trustafrians rah rah can tell it drives me to distraction. I'm sure they are perfectly nice people, but the air of elitism is impenetrable to me. The art ranged from well-established names like Lowry through to complete unknowns to me - a person who 'knows what they like'. In general my steely inexpert eye would say that most of it was uninspiring and inartistic. But that doesn't stop them charging a fortune for these works...was there anything there for less than £1000? I couldn't find it. And on one stand, the average price was well over a quarter of a million fine English pounds. I'm sure it was a prime target for any art thieves, but there didn't appear to be any security of note. I stand in awe at this. I can only assume that the market for expensive art is self-perpetuating with one Rupert selling to the next and so on...or perhaps I just wish I had the money to join in the merry-go-round?

Out on the street yesterday was a gathering of a different kind. The street which runs in front of the headquarters of the London Fire Brigade was full of firemen, and had been blocked off by riot police. I doubt there was a Rupert among them, but plenty of Robs, Petes and Andys. They had gathered to hear calls to fight impending cut backs. They were animated and passionate...although a few had sneaked off round the corner for a crafty pint...and I can't help but feel this is a sign of things to come. This may well be The Boys first winter of discontent.