Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Blood money

Even though everyone knows that Andy Warhol made his start in advertising before he went on to be one of the most important artists in the world, most ad guys still resent artists and the cachet they enjoy. If you have any doubts about this, just check out ads that have art as their subject matter. Most often they are insulting, demeaning or antagonistic. Comment about this is usually gets the art-people-can’t–take–a joke treatment, but it’s not a joke ad people play on sport stars or happy families living the nostalgic NZ dream in beachside baches.

Here is a particularly brutal example promoting SKY's Arts Channel (seriously). Mark Rothko’s slip into depression and suicide is used as a cheap joke for a cheap offer. “As the last drop of blood emptied out of him, he would have come to the grim realisation that his life’s work had cost him everything. Good thing he didn’t know, 39 years later, it would only cost you $2.99. Then he really would have been down.” The Arts Channel's mission statement? “Art for an insultingly low price.”
Image: The SKY ad as published in the latest issue of artnews New Zealand.