Art Barter: Artists and Artisans
You can swap almost anything for a painting, photo, or sculpture. Andrew Johnson reports
Sunday 29 November 2009
Tracey Emin needs a plumber, and her shoes need re-heeling. So, if you know your way around a U-bend or a cobbler's last, rush down to her former studio in East London today and she may give you one of her art works in exchange.
If her composition is not quite to your taste, there is a host of other artists looking to trade with artisans: Gavin Turk, film director Mike Figgis, painter Gary Hume, and artist Nick Hornby are putting up works of photography, painting or sculpture that they're willing to exchange for whatever people can offer them, as long as it's not cash.
While most of the works on display were produced by people used to charging hefty prices, the UK's first Art Barter event celebrates the tradition of artists swapping work for the basics of life, such as food or accommodation, or, in Andy Warhol's case, a video camera.
The idea, according to curator Lauren Jones, is to highlight the ridiculousness of the overpriced contemporary art market, and take things back to basics. "No one will know whose work is whose until after the bartering process," Ms Jones said. "So they will make their choice on whether they like the work or not, rather than the name attached to it."
Visitors starting bidding last Friday, hoping to snaffle a valuable piece. As of yesterday no one had yet offered the kind of skills that would win them an Emin. There were, however, plenty of offers for other services such as cat-sitting, cake baking, or the loan of holiday homes.
In among the hundred-plus bids was one from BBC presenter Evan Davis. And actor Russell Tovey has also been round the show. Three works caught his eye, for which he offered a day on the set of the TV series Being Human.
Unknown artists and designers will also bring in their works, hoping to trade them in a sort of swap shop.
Last night Ms Emin said she was pleased with the inaugural event: "It cuts out the middle man.... It's looking at the work rather than the artist.
"I need an electrician and a plumber: you try and find one! I need my shoes re-heeling. It's great fun and a good way for people to buy art who might think they can't afford it but have a skill which is of real benefit to an artist."
But you'll have to move quickly – because the swaps stop tonight.
The best TV shows and films coming to the servicetv
Watch the new House of Cards series three trailerTV
Oscars 2015It was the first time Barney has compered the Academy Awards
Oscars 2015 From Meryl Streep whooping Patricia Arquette's equality speech to Chris Pine in tears
Oscars 2015 Mexican filmmaker uses speech to urge 'respect' for immigrants
TV ReviewThe intrigue deepens as we delve further but don't expect any answers just yet
Razzies 2015 Golden Raspberry Awards 'honours' Cameron Diaz and Kirk Cameron
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 This restaurant has misunderstood the concept of 'cheese and biscuits'
- 2 Raif Badawi, the Saudi Arabian blogger sentenced to 1,000 lashes, may now face death penalty
- 3 Delhi bus rapist blames dead victim for attack because 'girls are responsible for rape'
- 4 PornHub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
- 5 Have sex with your iPad thanks to the new sex toy no-one asked for
Broadchurch series 3: David Tennant and Olivia Colman to return for third season, ITV confirms
Poldark star Heida Reed says show is not that racy: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
House of Cards season 3: Claire Underwood is based on an eagle, says Robin Wright
Game of Thrones season 5 spoilers: What we can expect according to George RR Martin's books
Fifty Shades of Grey movie shows first sex scene 'after 40 minutes'
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut