Recently I participated in a pub quiz. The last question of the last round was “What is the name of Damien Hirst’s platinum cast skull, which is estimated to be worth over £14 million?” None of my friends or I could remember what the title was of that artwork. One of my friends suggested, “Damien Hirst’s Ego”. We decided that was a good enough guess and put that as our answer. The answer was “For the Love of God”.
“For the Love of God”, opens art critic Robert Hughes’ startling documentary “The Mona Lisa Curse”. In this hour and fifteen minute movie, Hughes dissects what has happened to the art world in the past 20 years. Oscar Wilde wrote in The Picture of Dorian Grey, “nowadays people know the price of everything and the value of nothing.” He wasn’t talking about the Art World and the culture of collectors but he might as well have been. Andy Warhol, Salvador Dali, Damien Hirst, Tracy Emin, they all mean mega dollars. Does it matter what they art is suggesting, if it even means anything at all, when it is worth so much money?