Art collecting also has a formula (2)

Art collecting also has a formula (2)

Conditions of a fine work of art_Timeship (EP.2)

How to distinguish pretty art works


If you go to the art fair held in Korea, you can see exceptionally well-selling works which have strangely similar characteristics. The main character, who has a bright, pretty, or happy facial expression, smiles brightly in the painting. The way talented writers express their objects is unique and full of individuality. It gives us a visual novelty using unusual materials and touches us with ordinary but warm content. But collectors will feel this way. I like this work and feel good every time I see it, but I’m not sure if it’s excellent work to invest in. In particular, those who have seen the ‘conditions for outstanding works of art to become rich through art investment will be troubled. What is the quality of this work? What about the generation? Representation? Where can I find it? If you worry about this, you will likely become rich through art investment. However, many art collectors do not have this concern.


I suspect attractive and popular works with pretty and pleasant colors will be good. However, as history proves, there are countless cases in which the name of a well-known and respected writer at the time disappears without a trace after less than half a century. In addition, in the 21st century, the distinction between avant-garde works, parodies, and kitsch is ambiguous. But you can’t just look at the avant-garde theoretical books of Peter Würger or Walter Benjamin when you’re not going to be a professor at the University of Art, can you know? There are art theories and philosophies that fit well with each era. In today’s generation, evaluating the work while still mentioning Kant’s art theory is like an old, old, old critic who once lost his reputation due to the Me Too movement appearing in ripped jeans pretending to be hot and condescending to young writers, saying, “When I was young.” Nothing is more shameful and ridiculous than spouting difficult words to wield power that does not exist to the weak and ignorant.


In the last episode, I summarized how to read the times in the work. Broadly, it divides the message of the work into individuals and society, and in a small concept, it is to find where the work belongs and closely observe what kind of message of the times it contains. Then, as mentioned above, how do we find out whether or not works that are pretty at first glance are good? On this occasion, I was fascinated by the famous work. Let's solve your problem with a selection disorder between the prejudice that pretty works will be light even if you go. And let's get out of the stage of "No brain at the art.'

Pretty but light work vs pretty but deep work

Can you tell if there's depth or not? Isn't there? Although it may be a non-conceived or conceptual art, the depth of the work in the abstract work can be known to some extent, even if it is not well-versed in the art. However, due to the color and the beauty of the character in the painting, the mind to see the depth of the work disappears for a while, and the sense of criticism is lost due to its superficial beauty. In addition, if external factors such as well-selling works are added, judgment will disappear, and the error of focusing only on external information will be committed. Then, how about accepting the expert's opinion at a time like this? Criticism and commentary will help you appreciate unconventional works or conceptual art that is difficult to understand. Isn't there an incident in which a critic named Clement Greenberg made a star by criticizing Jackson Pollock's painting work, which he had no idea what he drew? However, criticism or commentary is not necessary in the case of conventional works in painting. The picture itself is a commentary, a figure, and an explanation. Can't you see what you drew? The artist's emotions and intentions are revealed due to the object to be described, color, and brush touch. Let's put aside the prejudice that art is the domain of professionals, so it isn't easy, and it would be good to accept experts' opinions and trust your own eyes. From now on, we will compare flat works that borrow the form of cartoon characters with pretty works that have narratives and are similar to illustration forms.

Today's people in KAWS and Murakami Takashi, who can be mass-produced



These artists express the recent stories of people today in the way they are today. It can be said that the work and the method of branding the production, promotion, and sale of the work is part of the work. What depth should I feel for characters I can only see in cartoons? The keyword is the implication. In the future, you must hold onto the word implication and look at the work. The implication is a magical word that penetrates all the works of art in the world and may be the only condition that makes art. What is the difference between these works and Mickey Mouse? I drew Simpson, but not Simpson, but Doraemon, but not Doraemon.

Takashi Murakami is the originator of writers who characterized his work as a cartoon. In addition, he established a company called “Kaikai Kiki” to operate a factory-style studio, hired artists to participate in the production of works, and the outstanding artist among them made a successful debut as a writer. Now, many luxury brands such as Louis Vuitton and Dior collaborate with artists, but most of all, nothing has more impact than Murakami Takashi’s Louis Vuitton collar monogram design. Back in time, there was Andy Warhol, an icon of pop art that used silk screen techniques, as if it were taken in a factory in line with the era of mass production and popular literature. If you go back one more step, there are minimalism such as Donald Judd and Eva Hesse. In this era, the philosophical theories of modernism and postmodernist philosophers based on avant-garde art are abundant. People of this era had to get help from critics and philosophers to read society and art. Without in-depth commentary penetrating the age of philosophers, there was no way to understand the works of art that looked large and simple but were profound and unfamiliar. And these incomprehensible and difficult works still lead to the name of contemporary art. Pop art has been called Neo Pop Art since the 21st century.


First, let's find out what the two works have in common, Kaus and Murakami Takashi.

  • Popular artist? That's right.
  • Cartoon character? Right.
  • The colors are primary and colorful. Right.
  • It's flat and straightforward without a mouthful. Right.
  • It is mass-produced in a factory-type workshop and makes a lot of art products. That's right.
  • The work is expensive. It's perfect.
  • There are three-dimensional works, such as sculpture and installation, and planar works, such as paintings and prints. Right.
  • He has a unique character. That's right.

You can find more, but shall we list it here and divide the inner and outer characteristics of the work?

The inner characteristics of a work
Cartoon characters / their own unique characters / primary colors / simple and flat expressions

The external characteristics of the work
Expensive/ Factory-type work production methods/Collaboration with brands/ Production, sales, etc. of prints, 3D works, art products, etc., popular

Do you see anything after listing your characteristics?
As an inner feature of the work, cartoon characters are huge, and in the case of Kaws, he borrows a scene from the Simpsons, the most popular cartoon in the United States, to dress his character. Sometimes the feeling is pictured shopping for luxury goods that young people like these days, going on vacation, or wearing trendy sneakers. In Murakami Takashi's work, also called "Super Flat," there is no three-dimensional or vanishing point, and the background and object are not separated. The character is always smiling, and his expression doesn't change. He captured the comic book crazy otaku culture, which is part of Japanese culture. He is a cartoon maniac. These two writers represented what the public likes and prefers, our stories that the crowd is enthusiastic about, and the stories of our time with their characters and visual uniqueness. What is it like outside of work? It is printed in the factory, and the name is made known in Collaboration with the brand. Engraving and three-dimensional works are done to make it accessible to more people, and art products such as Art Toy attract more public enthusiasm. This is what branding is. In other words, the writer is branding himself. Didn't you say it's the era of personal branding? Aren't we living in an age where everyone has to do art and become a brand? It is not saying that the current brand is this or that by explaining and explaining in work, but the process of informing and doing the work itself is becoming an artwork. This is nothing like mere exhibition advertising and publicity. Even the way advertising should be art. It is not just a popular star writer, but the identity of this era and our story are grouped into a story inside and outside the workplace. Earlier, the word 'encapture' was mentioned. Is there any connotation in the works of these artists? Do you feel a slight cool behind the mechanically smiling character? If you go to the art fair, there will be works where you can feel emotions such as being pretty, having fun, being cute, and looking a little lonely. Looking at it makes me feel good. So what am I supposed to do? One of the main functions of art is the recreational function. Playing recreational roles is never a bad thing. However, art is not a TV drama or a gag concert. Art should have a condensed hidden meaning behind visible visual stimuli and give the viewer an endorphin of enlightenment to shout "Eureka." But it looks as much as it knows.

Lucy Sparrow's Soft Mart with Bulk Production


Let's find out about Lucy Sparrow, the artist who is exceptionally prominent and growing these days. I first met this artist's work at the "Context Art Fair" held during Art Basel Miami in 2018. At first glance, I saw the results installed at the art fair and thought they were an homage to Damien Hirst. However, when I looked closely, I could feel the uniqueness of different physical properties, different materials, and different stories. I wanted to learn more about the writer. That evening, a New Yorkers meeting party hosted by the New York Party Planner was being held at a bar in Miami. As in other cities, parties are held here and there during the art fair in the United States. There are so many parties hosted by Art Fair, brand promotional parties such as Adidas, artists' studio parties, and gallery parties that they travel here and there for one evening to meet people and see exhibitions. I attended a New Yorker VIP party my friend invited me to that day, and I was distraught to see Angelina Jolie there. She was beautiful beyond words, even to me as a woman, and she gave me a wink and a hand kiss as I kept staring. It was apparent that she was doing fan service. I went to the bar to order pineapple juice, and I forgot to order it when I saw her standing in front of me, drinking with her friends. I met art dealers from New York there, and they said that if you come anywhere tomorrow, you can buy Lucy Sparrow's work. Seeing that various dealers and I mention it, it is inevitable that something is hot. I don't know if it's the writer's studio or store, but I decided to go there tomorrow and go to bed early. Miami in December is warm, like the middle of summer in Korea, so you can even wear a bikini, but it was freezing this time. I had to wear a padded jacket from New York. I went to a building in downtown Miami. I didn't know at the time, but now that I think about it, it was the Brickel area where high-rise apartments were just built because of the development. David Beckham lives in an apartment designed by Zaha Hadid. Although it was shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Brickel's development was progressing and was being completed nicely in a few years. Art Miami has a dedicated exhibition hall near it. Lucy Sparrow set up a supermarket in one of these neighborhood buildings. There was a sign, a clerk, and an ATM.

There were no frames seen at the art fair. All the items sold at the mart, such as snacks, medicine, cigarettes, and pizza, are displayed as works just like at the mart. Isn't it common to work on hospitals, drugs, and products? Yes, it can be considered cliche. But there were a few keywords that made this not corny. First, the ingredients. She reproduced all the products with a soft cotton pallet material (aka nonwoven fabric). Physical properties!! And avant-garde interpretations that make the existing things look different. If Marcel Duchamp had taken the ready-made toilet to the exhibition hall and sarcastically argued for individual creativity, she would bring the work in the institutional sphere out of the institutional globe and made the avant-garde provocation itself ridiculous. The curating method of the work is a kind of performance. And by selling pieces in the same way as buying and selling goods at the mart, it once again sarcastically gives institutional rights and generates economic profits. Recently, Prince Charles, now king, was invited to an afternoon tea party, a tea culture in England. Of course, there was nothing to eat. And at Freeze Art Fair, he brought an ice cream truck and sold his ice cream. There was no natural ice cream here, either.


The work is pretty and cute. The artist sometimes personifies bananas, chocolates, etc., by attaching eyes and mouth. Her work is, of course, mass-produced. This is because anyone can do the same thing. But did you notice that there is also a way to brand artists? The uniqueness and aesthetic value of the work itself are fundamental. Branding is different from promoting and advertising exhibitions or jobs. The marketing method can succeed in blending only when it becomes art. Can you read the paradigm of this era in this work?

Next time, we will look at the narratives of Kim Hong-do and Marc Chagall, which cannot be mass-produced, and the writers who capture the time in my heart, which is natural but inaccurate. As works produced by factories using masterpieces or tides became common, there were cases of legal controversy.

In the next episode, the difference between works that can be done and works that cannot be done will continue.