Art & Consumerism: To Bling Or Not To Bling

"The Simple Things" Emmanuel Perrotin

"The Simple Things" Emmanuel Perrotin

Art Basel 2009 — the glittering 40th annual — was tempered a bit by the economy, but still managed to put out some ambitious works. A New York dealer noted, however,“it d[id]n’t have that sense of urgency.”

Warhols (including soup cans & Marilyns), a few Giacomettis, and Picassos (including a painting of his mistress Marie-Thérèse Walter) were all up for the grabbing.

Perrotin’s $2 million piece “The Simple Things” took a jab at the economic downturn, making fun of a society that still — despite the holes in its pockets — has a ravenous and fiendish desire for luxury. Cupcakes & consumerism: we just can’t let it go. The long, white fangs in the piece remind me of the Things in “Where the Wild Things Are.”

Where the wild things are, you ask? Well, we know. We’re everywhere.


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