Value or Devalue

Ed Sheehan is a truly great superstar. As a singer songwriter there is no match in recent years. So I was interested in his recent sale which raised £400,000 to support children and young people with disabilities and life-limiting illnesses. A brilliant and thoroughly worthwhile achievement.

The Ed Sheehan: Made in Suffolk Legacy Auction contained 200 plus collectibles including some Lego pieces and the handwritten lyrics for “Perfect”

Dab 2 caught my eye though, a splash canvas utilising house paints, approximately four feet square. Is it Art though? Of course it is, and very good art, as I am sure the person who paid forty thousand pounds for it agrees.

But there lies my unease. As the celebrity culture threatens to consume us we notice how interchangeable the skill set appears to be. Once someone has hosted a TV show they appear to be able to sing, dance, write novels and, of course, paint. I felt very uneasy a few years ago in the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition looking at two (very average) paintings by Vic Reeves, undoubtedly a fine comedian but…

Similarly when I look at the art of ‘Bob Dylan’ I think… yes ok but prefer you as a great challenging songwriter. To own a Bob Dylan painting is a fine investment and one way of getting the great man’s signature.

But what of the hundreds of artists who ply their trade with paintings, poetry, literature, dance etc. What of their efforts without TV celebrity status and only years of training and practice to support them in their chosen vocation.

The Ed Sheehan initiative is great of course and I support it whole heartedly. Charity and philanthropy should always find its reward, but pity the poor artist.

What do you think?

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