The art is for sale and there are plenty of little red dots, but is there anything here which I would like to have in my home, let alone pay for it? If the truth be told, precious little. There are some attempts to be witty, but nothing which raises a bigger smile than the cartoon in my daily paper, nor anything more profound. The standard of craftsmanship, as in the ability to draw, paint or sculpt, is shockingly poor.
But amongst the hundreds of exhibits one or two attracted attention. I particularly liked Ron Arad’s bicycle, which was accompanied by a video (shown above) of the artist gingerly venturing out on it for a few yards on a London road. I hope that the scratches which this caused to the steel rims of the wheels hasn’t affected the value, but no-one so far has stumped up the £100,000 price (and it seems unlikely they ever will)
I also liked the two prints by Gordon Cheung entitled Tulipmania (sic) 7 and 8, which showed paintings of tulips against a backdrop of the stocks and shares pages of the FT. I’d happily own one of these, but wouldn’t fashion to pay the asking price of £1,440 for one of an edition of 20. Given the theme, it’s hard not to admire Cheung’s chutzpa in producing this series. Although only 7 and 8 are exhibited at the Royal Academy the full series is of 12 very similar prints. At £1,440 each that produces a total of £345,000 from a very simple idea- a return of which any stock market speculator would be proud.