The sweet smell of sales

4 October 2011

Appropriating aspects of consumer culture as raw material for their work is something that artists have been doing well since the consumerist boom of post-WWII years. From the literal approach of Jeff Koons to the gritty recycled found objects of Robert Rauschenberg, artists don’t ever tire of   objects that we imbue with mysterious powers, that we use and that we unceremoniously dispose of.

I shit diamonds
I shit diamonds by Antony Micallef

After all, what’s not to like in the glossy surface of advertising? Why wouldn’t the mingling of thrill and guilt brought on by the acquisition of something you don’t need be an appropriate subject for art?  Yet, in these lean times of never ending economic misery, fetishising such empty pursuits feels just plain wrong. Has art turned to anti-consumerism to keep up with the zeitgeist or do we just notice it more when we’re looking for distraction from the mindless trap of shopping without funds? Continue reading The sweet smell of sales

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