Hurling round the Big Dipper at Mission Beach, San Diego, it’s impossible not to think about the big questions, particularly when upside down. For instance, what if someone should ask – Gallery Girl, what would your last wishlist ever be, say if you were just about to be bumped off by a bunch of psychotic curators gathering in New York right now and plotting your end? I slay them Beyoncé style with the words,‘Y’all haters corny with that Illuminati mess!’ before donning my Rag & Bone grosgrain-trimmed wool-felt fedora and doing a Malcolm X wiggle. But say if the unthinkable should ever happen and the end was nigh, what I’d really want is a dinky Martin Creed painting, like the one that’s up for sale at Sotheby’s Contemporary Curated Auction in London on 15th March. Not only is it well-priced at a £12,000 to £18,000 estimate, the proceeds go to East London’s wonderful not-for-profit Peer so I can do 18k’s worth of 'virtue signalling'. I’ve always been a fan of Creed, and his idiosyncratic ponderings on what the point of this marvellous thing called art is, seems strangely appropriate at the moment.
The only thing that I can think of right now that offers more bangs to the buck virtue signalling than buying the Creed and bolstering Peer’s coffers is the second item on this week’s wishlist, the recently available Jean-Michel Basquiat Skateboard Demons, available from MoMA for USD$800. These five skateboards feature images from one of the artist’s untitled works from 1983 that hangs in the collection and proceeds go to Skateistan, which aside from having the best name for a NGO that I’ve come across in long while, combines skateboarding with educational initiatives in Afghanistan, Cambodia and South Africa. I’m going to ride these whilst wearing a Sawako Furono Disco Queen Helmet, the third item on this week’s wishlist that retails at £84 from Cyclechic.
After skateboarding around Alga Norte Community Park, San Diego’s largest skate park, I’m looking forward to retiring to the nearby Tip Top Meats to eat Zwiebel Rostbraten and flick through an advance copy of the splendidly named The Curatorial Conundrum: What to Study? What to Research? What to Practice? edited by Paul O’Neill, Mick Wilson and Lucy Steeds which is priced at a challenging £24.95 (symbolically the monthly wage of many public sector curators). It features essays by many 'between jobs' curators, providing the answer to the question posed by the book’s title – how about they all study and research themselves before producing an essay about it?
I realise my crusading columns have brought me enemies
It’s not that I dislike curators. After all as Ayn Rand memorably wrote in Atlas Shrugged, 'there can be no justification for a society in which a man is expected to manufacture the weapons for his own murderers,' but let’s face it, they tend to be social misfits who would like nothing more than to see the back of fearless purveyors of the truth like myself, Donald Trump and Emma Thompson. I realise my crusading columns have brought me enemies, and that’s why for my final item on this week’s wishlist I’ll be leaving San Diego and heading towards New York where I hope to win the bidding on the 15th century Tibetan Polychomed Wooden Phurbu that has an estimate of $8,000 to $12,000 at Christie’s Indian, Himalyan and Southeast Asian Works of Art sale on 15th March. This lovely item has a tri-partite blade issuing from the jaws of a sea creature. I mean what could possibly go wrong for me in lovely New York City, a place teeming with curators and socialites who think they are art advisors after a few weeks at the world-renowned Sotheby’s Institute. After all, I like America and America likes me…
Online exclusive published 3 March 2016