Spain is in commotion and the culprit is Art. Miquel Barceló recently unveiled his painting for the UN’s room XX in Geneva. The controversy comes from the fact that it cost €18.5 million, €500.000 of which came from a development fund. Some of the reports I read even accuse the Spanish Government of paying part of the work so Barceló could get more international exposure, hence the complex relationship I mention in the title. Then there is the issue that we are in crisis, of taking the king and his family to the preview by extra-comfortable plane and the one around conservation, a strange one. But that has little to do with the actual art, doesn’t it? I am far more interested in the process and the result, so, before seeing it with my own eyes, I won’t pronounce myself. I like the idea in principle (bringing us – and the UN – back to the cave), just need to experience it. My friend Maria has an interesting point, though. World leaders seem to agree on decoration matters much easier than on any humanitarian issues. I can imagine them all in an Ikea trip.
I understand it is a lot of money, and it probably comes from where it shouldn’t, but I can’t help feel the controversy is a little hypocritical. Many other things are expensive too. (I was looking at the new Prada/LG phone the other day and it is £500. I fell off my chair). This is capitalism, after all. Offer and demand. If it cost that it is because someone was prepared to pay it.