Art and Culture

Money for Nothing Literally

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An Italian has proved that you do not have to be a migrant to get paid for doing nothing. Here’s a guy who really should go into politics or journalism. Salvatore Garau, a 67-year-old artist from Italy, has mastered the alchemy of turning nothing into gold.

At a time when the art world, like everybody else, is going through a very difficult time with the equally fraudulent pandemic, has achieved a remarkable feat, which should be impossible to do, but he has sold an ‘invisible sculpture’ for the sum of €15,000 (£10,570).

Originally, the price was set at between €6,000 and €9,000 (£4,200 and £6,350). But, when he kept receiving more offers, the price increased and he ended up selling it for the higher amount.

Garau’s sculpture, christened ‘Io sono’ (I am), is an immaterial sculpture, which, in so many words, means it does not exist, or that if it did exist, then it only exists in the mind of its creator, with many art sceptics criticising the artist’s curious creation, but Garau’s response is that he has not sold ‘nothing, but he has sold a vacuum.

Garau explained it, The vacuum is nothing more than a space full of energy, and even if we empty it and there is nothing left, according to the Heisenberg uncertainty principle, that nothing has a weight. Therefore, it has energy that is condensed and transformed into particles, that is, into us’.

The Italian artist continued, ‘When I decide to ‘exhibit’ an immaterial sculpture in a given space, that space will concentrate a certain amount and density of thoughts at a precise point, creating a sculpture that, from my title, will only take the most varied forms. After all, don’t we shape a God we’ve never seen?’, as reported by as.com.

The artist points out that his work cannot be displayed just anywhere, but must be located in a space measuring about 150×150 cm, that is free from obstructions, with lighting and climate control being optional, as you can’t see the object anyway, all which will be detailed in a signed and stamped guarantee certificate from the artist to the buyer.

This Friday 28, Garau had another one of his invisible sculptures, ‘Aphrodite Piange’ (Aphrodite cries), being exhibited in New York, a piece which is another immaterial sculpture that, supposedly, rests on a circle drawn on the ground, which is the only thing that is visible, and the artist claims that with these works of art, he has started ‘a new, small, authentic revolution’.

His first invisible sculpture, called ‘Buddha in contemplation’, was placed 25 metres from the entrance to the Gallerie d’Italia, in Milan’s Piazza della Scala, in the Intesa San Paolo exhibition grounds, where, among other things, there is a large canvas of Garau.

Pablo Picasso was much more honest about the corruption and dishonesty of the art gallery swamp and its inhabitants:

‘The ‘refined,’ the ‘rich, the professional do-nothing,’ the ‘distiller of quintessence’ desire only the peculiar, and sensational, the eccentric, the scandalous in today’s art. 

‘And I myself, since the advent of cubism, have fed these fellows what they wanted and satisfied these critics with all the ridiculous ideas that have passed through my head. 

‘The less they understood, the more they admired me! … Today, as you know, I am celebrated, I am rich.  But when I am alone, I do not have the effrontery to consider myself an artist at all, not in the grand meaning of the word. … I am only a public clown, a mountebank. 

‘I have understood my time and exploited the imbecility, the vanity, the greed of my contemporaries.  It is a bitter confession, this confession of mine, more painful than it may seem.  But, at least, and at last, it does have the merit of being honest.’  – Pablo Picasso.

Maybe the Danish essayist and storyteller Hans Christian Andersen should be inspired to pen a story. We suggest calling the story The Emperor’s New Clothes.’

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3 replies »

  1. Where on earth did you get the Picasso quote and admission from? I found it in ¨Compact¨, a now defunct South African news paper which brought the most fabulous coverage of South African affairs – until the owner, a truth telling Englishman whose name I have disgracefully forgotten died just a few years ago.

    Liked by 1 person

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