The University of Connecticut is hosting an interesting exhibit. The feature pieces employed found mundane objects arranged in an interesting way, but nothing super exciting. But the artists didn’t stop there. They also designed the showroom that their pieces would be exhibited in, and they went all out for this: spacious rooms, chrome fixtures, contemporary shelving. Just by walking in, you’re expecting to see some good stuff, and actualize those expectations. The show is called Marketing as Art and emphasizes the delivery and presentation as two of the most important contributions to a piece’s value. It kind of reminds me of the research I did when going suit shopping, where a cheaper suit that contours well to the body is infinitely better than a fancier, but poorly tailored suit.
Naturally, this show is an exaggeration of the importance of marketing, but it begs the question: how can you know the difference between good art and not so good art? If Banksy can pass his art off as ordinary work by an everyday street vendor, and Brett Cohen can hire some bodyguards and photographers and convince people that he’s famous, how do we know what to believe? If art is an artist’s expression, his story, maybe it’s value comes simply from how many people buy into it.