Friday, October 26, 2012

Stand up and be counted

We've posted before about the millions of photographs taken of artworks in museums every day and how the Mona Lisa and other destination paintings are almost impossible to see for the hordes of point-and-pressers crowded around them. Now the latest iteration of art-photography is gathering steam: snap a photo in front of your own special artwork. Two for one - an artwork and a friend.
Less endearing are the photos of the rich and the powerful standing in front of paintings they own or control.  It's a modern day version of the tradition by which landowners have their estates oiled in behind them by the likes of Thomas Gainsborough and the rest. As John Berger said of Gainsborough’s famous landed gentry painting Mr and Mrs Andrews, “their proprietary attitude towards what surrounds them is visible in their stance and their expression.” So too with modern day portraits of high flyers and their art.
We were reminded of all this when we saw these pics of businesswomen before art in a Next magazine (who knows what issue, we’re talking doctor’s waiting room here). Inevitably the two paintings are by men, but then you can’t have everything.
Images: Top to bottom, Thomas Gainsborough Mr and Mrs Andrews, snapping at the Mona Lisa, peace-signs and Pollock and what comes in Next