"Half of my life so downhearted, I'm already an old man; standing alone in my study, the evening
wind moans. Bright pearls from beneath my brush can't be sold anywhere; so I fling them here, cast
them there, amidst the wild vines." -Xu Wei
"The art market," writes Robert Hughes, "is always converting works of art into passive fictions of eternity and immutability, of transcendent value for which no price may necessarily be too high." Mind boggling rises in value for art at auction are legendary, but don't depend on this process if you are risk adverse. Fluctuations in value are also part of the art investment territory. For example, Victorian painter Lawrence Alma-Tadema's The Finding of Moses sold for $25,000 in 1905, but the artist's pictures were so passe by 1942 that the painting sold for $682. By 2010, in a rising art market, the same painting became one of Hughe's "passive fictions of eternity and immutability," and was reevaluated, selling at auction for $23.5 million. In the same booming market, the work of artist Sam Gillian, whose canvases were priced around $1500, was "rediscovered" by a dealer and in November 2015 a Gillian painting sold for $315,000 at Christie's in New York.
More Americans go to art museums than go to football games, supporting Hughes' observation "almost all American TV is shit tailored to morons. It is a vast exercise in condescension by quite smart people to millions of others whom they assume to be much dumber than they actually are."
Excerpt from my Guest Book
"Charming Darling! Too, too Divine. When Beresford returns from his bone fishing trip with Jimmy Cadwalder and Rokie Melon, I'm going to insist that we have all of our friends over for an art party and we can all invest in your charming blue-chip art. This will appeal to Beresford; he is so stodgy about normal artists, (dirty Bohemians) . . . but he will adore your blue-chip paintings. You see, he looks after our money, and he only keeps blue-chip stocks in the portfolio, so of course, you see what fun this will be ! ! ! I do hope your prices aren't too
high! ! ! My husband feels that art should never have more than two digits before the comma--is that possible? Oh, Mr. Whisenant, may I call you Stewart? We do look forward to our little splurge, and if I serve a few of my special cocktails, I'm sure that our little art party will be a smashing success! Of course Stewart, I feel as though we have known each other for a hundred years so perhaps it wouldn't be too forward of me to ask if you ever paint nudes. I can tell from your art that you are a man who knows how to handle a woman, and I do play tennis at the club every day, and although I am no longer a teenager, I do turn a few middle-aged heads. So, if you do accept figure models . . . Well, back to business, I think you are the most brilliant artist, and please call me." - Tinki Tipton
Lily and Jane Van Tassel at the November 2012 Oxford Arts Alliance show. In his article about the exhibit, Chester County Press art critic John Chambless wrote: "The doleful expression of the hulking beast in 'Bad Bull' by Stewart Whisenant is immediately appealing, and his other works--'Super Fly' and 'Free Bird' -- have a similar folky charm."