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AuthorTopic: Ahht
Electric Sheep One
Member # 3431
Profile #0
We went to an art gallery the other day, and there was a lot of stuff that I thought was quite cool. But my wife pointed out a vase that we both agreed looked great in the museum, and observed that if we had found it at a garage sale we wouldn't have offered fifty cents for it. And indeed most of the stuff that impressed me as being well worth thousands, displayed in the gallery, would not have impressed me as worth two bucks, at the garage sale.

The question is, where am I stupid: in the gallery, or at the garage sale? (Please assume for the sake of argument that you cannot pick both.)

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We're not doing cool. We're doing pretty.
Posts: 3335 | Registered: Thursday, September 4 2003 07:00
Member # 8014
Profile #1
You judge item by price!
Do you live in the US?

Muffins n' Hell|Muffins n' Hell: The Muffins Are Back Again
I have an addiction to Spiderweb games.
I like this image
Posts: 1799 | Registered: Sunday, February 4 2007 08:00
Member # 6670
Profile Homepage #2
Neither. A vase at an art gallery is judged on the basis of beauty. A vase at a garage is judged on the basis of utility.

"I'm citing Long Meeting Syndrome."
Posts: 1509 | Registered: Tuesday, January 10 2006 08:00
Law Bringer
Member # 335
Profile Homepage #3
Galleries display items to their advantage, to say nothing of the ambience that is supposed to inspire appreciation of art. Garage sales usually display items poorly and have all the ambience of someone's garage. I think the difference of opinion is totally unsurprising.

—Alorael, who thinks it's also similar to the Joshua Bell in the subway. When you go to look at art, you see art. If you're not expecting it, you're in a different mindset and you can easily completely overlook it. The subconscious is a powerful thing.
Posts: 14579 | Registered: Saturday, December 1 2001 08:00
Member # 5310
Profile #4
That is one tough question.
Posts: 57 | Registered: Monday, December 20 2004 08:00
Member # 8014
Profile #5
No matter what you pick, you get to call him stupid :P

Muffins n' Hell|Muffins n' Hell: The Muffins Are Back Again
I have an addiction to Spiderweb games.
I like this image
Posts: 1799 | Registered: Sunday, February 4 2007 08:00
? Man, ? Amazing
Member # 5755
Profile #6
You need help on poll design from Iffy.


Synergy - "I don't get it."
Posts: 4114 | Registered: Monday, April 25 2005 07:00
Electric Sheep One
Member # 3431
Profile #7
My own theory is that as long as the gallery's rooms are big, white and bright enough to pass muster, the gallery assures me that it would not be stupid to be impressed by the things in it. With this confidence I feel free to look for what's good in them. At the garage sale in contrast I'm sure that actually liking anything would be dumb, so I am afraid to see anything but crappiness. You could put the same object from the gallery in the garage sale, and even if I bought it, I would be embarrassed to hang it on my wall, and have to tell people it was some thing I picked up at a garage sale. Because then they'd have the same reaction as me, and be afraid to like it.

I'm working toward some sort of theory here that galleries provide some aesthetic analog to economic liquidity. And my own vote is for garage, because there are definitely things in galleries that I'm happy to despise, so it's not that I'm a complete sucker for big white rooms.

We're not doing cool. We're doing pretty.
Posts: 3335 | Registered: Thursday, September 4 2003 07:00
Member # 6600
Profile Homepage #8
I'm sure there is a subset of the population that is extremely good at picking out good items at ridiculously low prices at garage sales and then bragging about them. The potential is there, so I voted for garage.

Of course, Dikiyoba is also sure there exists a subset at the population that buys a bunch of junk at garage sales thinking they are good deals and then brags about them as well. As long as they aren't designing art gallerys, though, they're pretty harmless.
Posts: 4346 | Registered: Friday, December 23 2005 08:00
Member # 869
Profile Homepage #9
Originally written by Dikiyoba:

I'm sure there is a subset of the population that is extremely good at picking out good items at ridiculously low prices at garage sales and then bragging about them. The potential is there, so I voted for garage.
You and everyone who's ever seen an episode of Antiques Roadshow.

The Empire Always Loses: This Time For Sure!
Posts: 9973 | Registered: Saturday, March 30 2002 08:00
Member # 32
Profile #10
In the gallery it's priceless. At the garage sale it's just some ad for Campbell's soup that someone framed. There's also the question of legal issues. If it looks authentic you might wonder why they aren't selling it to museum...

[ Wednesday, August 22, 2007 04:39: Message edited by: Lt. Sullust ]

Lt. Sullust
Quaere verum
Posts: 2462 | Registered: Wednesday, October 3 2001 07:00
Electric Sheep One
Member # 3431
Profile #11
Of course what we're all getting at is that framing in general is important. But it's also tough to pin down. For instance, it seems to me that if Joe Schmoe frames a soup can, it's worth nothing. It will never make it into any gallery, and rightly not. But if Andy Warhol does it, once he's already made a bit of a name for himself, then it's something. That 'bit of a name' provides a frame for the idea; the artist's fame is another kind of big white gallery room.

It would be just as good if Joe Schmoe's framed soup can appeared at a garage sale and got picked out and hung on his wall by Andy Warhol. The point is that the picture now comes with Warhol's endorsement, which invisibly frames the picture.

If I pick the thing up at a garage sale, it's still worth nothing. Or at least, it's worth considerably less than if Warhol does it — and by worth I mean some sort of objective (ha) aesthetic worth, not cash. Warhol is a much better frame than me for pop art. He spent years, after all, turning his career and persona into its ideal frame. That's some meta-art, there.

I'm not exactly talking about snobbery here, but I might also say that decrying snobbery is snobbery, because most people are natural snobs. I'm presuming this snobbery actually has some utility, or people wouldn't adopt it. And people are snobs in cases where they hardly stand to profit in any direct material way from their snobbery, so the utility doesn't just seem to be that you can sell a genuine Warhol for major bucks. So I think there's something to the idea that an artist's fame is a frame.

We're not doing cool. We're doing pretty.
Posts: 3335 | Registered: Thursday, September 4 2003 07:00
Member # 7723
Profile #12
I have a good buddy that goes around to garage sales and buys stuff and makes a killing on ebay. He has an eye for what people will like. He told me he could almost quit his day job.

Edit: So I chose garage.

[ Wednesday, August 22, 2007 05:02: Message edited by: Stillness ]
Posts: 701 | Registered: Thursday, November 30 2006 08:00
Nuke and Pave
Member # 24
Profile Homepage #13
This talk about frames and comparative worth reminds me of an amusing story:

My parents needed frames for a couple pictures, so they bought a framed print at a garage sale for a couple dollars, because that was cheaper than buying a new frame at a store. When they took out the print they saw that the cardboard behind it had a drawing of a woman with a flower, which they liked so much that they decided to hang it next to the other pictures on a wall.

So a drawing that to some people was worth only to serve as a backboard for a framed poster my parents considered good enough to hang on the wall, while the print that those people were selling was worth less to my parents than the frame it was in.

Which I guess means that artistic (and by extension financial) value is in the eye of the beholder.

Be careful with a word, as you would with a sword,
For it too has the power to kill.
However well placed word, unlike a well placed sword,
Can also have the power to heal.
Posts: 2649 | Registered: Wednesday, October 3 2001 07:00
Law Bringer
Member # 4153
Profile Homepage #14
I chose gallery, because I have a somewhat long-standing grudge against the value of the "art" in museums. When I see some medieval piece of silverware in a display case, I can't stop myself from thinking "why isn't somebody using this?", even though I still appreciate its appearance.

And as for those museums that charge for admission, well... they are beneath my contempt. If you really have to hoard all that "art" to begin with, where do you get off charging people just so they can see it? That said, I feel lucky to live in St. Louis, where our art museum (in fact, most of our museums) is free to all. That eases a bit of the sting.

Heck, I almost wish there was some way to equally distribute the "art" among everyone. Just about everyone could use a bit more beauty in their lives.

... </tangent>

Anyway. I think there's also something odd about who gets recognized as a "good" artist. I mean, to the untrained eye (a group which includes a vast majority of the population anyway), so-called mediocre art is indistinguishable from what I'll call museum caliber art. I look at the stuff created by my friends who are art students, and I think it's just as worth the museum time as anything else.

I wholeheartedly agree that it's mostly framing that sets up this whole situation to begin with. I wish there was a way to disrupt that framing, if only for a second.

TM: "I want BoA to grow. Evolve where the food ladder has rungs to be reached."

Gamble with Gaea, and she eats your dice.
Posts: 4130 | Registered: Friday, March 26 2004 08:00
Shock Trooper
Member # 6666
Profile #15
So wait... you choose an art gallery because you're against art galleries?

Also, why is it that I've always thought of you as an Aussie, or at the very least a Kiwi?
Posts: 353 | Registered: Monday, January 9 2006 08:00
Member # 2759
Profile Homepage #16
The original question was: where am I being stupid, at the gallery or at the garage? So if Ephesos doesn't like galleries, he should vote gallery. It does sort of make sense.

I like this poll, although I find it impossible to answer. It would depend on whether I myself liked the vase in question. It I found it aesthetically pleasing, then I would say you're stupid at the garage. And conversely if I thought it had about as much appeal as Tracy's unmade bed, then I'd vote you stupid at the gallery.

"Blink and you're dead... Don't turn your back, don't look away and don't blink."

Geneforge 4 stuff. Also, everything I know about Avernum | Avernum 2 | Avernum 3 | Avernum 4
Posts: 1104 | Registered: Monday, March 10 2003 08:00