Old Master expert Bendor Grosvenor is no friend of Contemporary art. But his reaction to Sotheby’s flood of food-oriented videos supporting marketing dinners the firm is holding for its May sales goes in the opposite direction.
Grosvenor is gobsmacked that Sotheby’s is diminishing the work.
Sotheby’s aim with these videos is to draw in new buyers. But does associating a painting with a powdered truffle, an amuse bouche, make anyone want to fork out $10m for it? Isn’t the whole point of marketing the more ephemeral end of the contemporary art market instead about creating an environment of nodding, po-faced seriousness, and engendering the sort of earnest conversation that helps elevate the status of one of thousands of prints into an apparently unique masterpiece. Who drops $10m on a joke? Or is the joke on us?
Actually, the joke is on Sotheby’s who have violated one of the basic taboos of advertising and marketing by resorting to borrowed interest. That’s where you try to create excitement around a brand or product by associating it with something wholly unconnected.
In this case, Sotheby’s has gone a step further. The videos end up promoting the food products far more than they do the art.
Guffwatch (ctd.) (Art History News)