Posted by: Valentino Radman | December 22, 2010

The Mona Lisa Curse

Most people have wrong ideas about the way contemporary art scene in general – and museum and art galleries in particular – works.

It does not have anything with the quality of artworks or ingeniosity of their creators. It doesn’t have anything with artists’ skills or capacity to effectively communicate ideas and emotions in a poetic, ennobling way. What it DOES have to do with is – you guess – money.

The Mona Lisa Curse is a timely essay by art critic Robert Hughes which examines how the world’s most famous painting came to influence the art world. He explores how museums, the production of art and the way we experience it, have radically changed in the last 50 years.

Hughes tells the story of the rise of contemporary art and looks back over a life spent talking and writing about the art he loves, and loathes. He recounts an extraordinary chapter in art history starting with a thriving American art scene in the 1960s, destroyed in the 1980s by an art market bloated with excess and infiltrated by investors. For Hughes, today’s over-crowded, over-hyped, business-minded art world is a nightmare.

Hughes talks to world famous artists, influential museum directors and takes on a new breed of billionaire collector, prepared to pay any price to get their very own masterpiece and asks – has all this transformed how we value art?

You can watch entire documentary, split into parts on YouTube. The first part is here.

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