OpinionWeekend

Weekend Words: Sell

Pieter Aertsen, "Market Scene" (n.d.). Oil on oak, 127 x 85 cm. Wallraf-Richartz-Museum, Cologne. (Image via Web Gallery of Art)
Pieter Aertsen, “Market Scene” (n.d.). Oil on oak, 127 x 85 cm. Wallraf-Richartz-Museum, Cologne. (image via Web Gallery of Art)

This week, to keep a date at Christie’s, a major painting skipped a major museum retrospective. That museum would be the Guggenheim, and the painting would be Christopher Wool’s “Apocalypse Now” (1988): SELL THE HOUSE SELL THE CAR SELL THE KIDS. And sell it did.

“Intellectuals can tell themselves anything, sell themselves any bill of goods, which is why they were so often patsies for the ruling classes in nineteenth-century France and England, or twentieth-century Russia and America.”

—Lillian Hellman

“Only conservatives believe that subversion is still being carried on in the arts and that society is being shaken by it. Advanced art today is no longer a cause –it contains no moral imperative. There is no virtue in clinging to principles and standards, no vice in selling or in selling out.”

—Harold Rosenberg

“Advertising is a valuable economic factor because it is the cheapest way of selling goods, particularly if the goods are worthless.”

—Sinclair Lewis

“Money itself isn’t lost or made, it’s simply transferred from one perception to another. This painting here. I bought it 10 years ago for 60 thousand dollars. I could sell it today for 600. The illusion has become real and the more real it becomes, the more desperately they want it.”

—Oliver Stone

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