Thursday, 27 May 2004

Bonfire of the Vanities

Posted by Hello

Another email from Patsy123 this morning:

Just read last night's blog. Wow! No, not melodramatic or pretentious but thought provoking and sensitive. I feel I should have some words of wisdom here but I don't other than to say you or I or anyone else can't solve the riddles, but what you can do is create something to portray the 'indefinable, ungraspable miasma' to give us uncreatives a glimpse of what you see. And yes, you (or was it Maisel) are right; it is painful but not tragic if you can't grasp it.

I have just glanced at the Guardian front page & I see that the big art fire included 50 Patrick Herons, the ones I saw in the Tate a few years back. Tragic! Some of the comments from the other living artists who have lost work make me realise again how trivial their work is. Comments like 'I will just make another one'.

I've not been following the warehouse fire story too well, in part, if I'm to be honest, because Saatchi's collection means very little to me. Most of it is almost as important to me as Beckham's latest haircut or who did what in which reality show. I heard Brian Sewell's view that it was a "major catastrophe." But I smiled wryly when he justified this on the grounds that most of what has been lost would have to be consigned to the dustbin of history purely on photographs and the published comments of critics such as himself, rather than on an examination of the artifacts themselves.

I am genuinely shocked to hear that so many of Patrick Heron's works may have been lost. This is compounded by the absence of any such report in the BBC's email coverage. They spend a lot of time on how many names were on Tracey Emin's Tent and how much Saatchi paid for the Chapman's Hell, but most of this probably comes from the Saatchi word factory.

It'll be some time before - and here I put on my Value Judgement Hat - we hear of how many real works of art have been destroyed.

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