Wednesday, November 13, 2013

White drip

Any political cartoonist will tell you that the most likely buyer of the original of a vicious cartoon is the person, ok politician, who it was targeted at. And so it is with art. Coming up at auction this month are art works owned by Paul Holmes, a leader in the art-is-stupid media opportunity. It was Holmes who led the anti-et al. brigade. Rather than offer congratulations to New Zealand’s representative at Venice in 2005 he initiated an outpouring of media rage. Distorted echoes of it still pop up even now. 

Now we discover though that even if Holmes was up for savaging contemporary art in public, in private he was a trophy art collector including the scalps of bad boys Tony Fomison, and Allan Maddox on his belt. Holmes of course went even further. In a classic act of self referencing, it turns out he had bought Ralph Hotere’s painting White Drip II which Hotere had made in a disgusted reaction to Holmes’s racist ‘Cheeky Darkie’ comment.  Let’s hope that this time round White Drip II will go from Holmes to a better home.
Image: Holmes getting stuck into contemporary art