The world’s artwork is being hidden away from view. Stored in dark climate controlled rooms. Art collections are increasingly becoming investment funding. This changes art from an object of inspiration and beauty to something resembling a gold ingot.
Shades parodies art-as-bullion by not displaying any of the art in the exhibition. As the muffled sound of a cattle auctioneer can be heard a large pile of lamps shades illuminate the gallery walls and the white slightly raised lettering “Shades.” The low light obscures the space casting shadows the selected artworks. The light will not help much to see because each artwork are covered by a packing blanket. The artwork may not be seen but it can be felt. Literally, the gallery goers are encouraged to feel the art through the blankets. Is it a thrift store velvet painting of Elvis or a Monet? Could is be a common flower pot or Ming vase? The artworks identity has been hidden just like countless masterpieces.
Artworks’ value comes from its ability to invoke thought and emotion. This intrinsic value is being replaced by monetary value, meaning the greatest works of art are only on view for large shows to increase the artwork’s fame and pricetag. As the art world becomes more interested in name brand artists it is important for collectors to buy lesser known artist, and organizations to exhibiting art that subverts its own sale, as well as create free public spaces for viewing art.