Saturday, January 3, 2009
No way seriously
I went to see the Degas exhibition the other day while on hols in Canberra.
I'm quite partial to a spot of Degas, all those ballerinas and horses and tall-hatted gentlemen. Quite noice, really, and when I win lotto I might even buy one, or else pay a top-rate burglar to steal one for me.
What I'm not so partial to is the unexpected and unwanted advent of the anti-sketch police at the exhibition.
Along with the usual 'don't take photos/don't touch the exhibits/don't throw jaffas at the guards' warnings there was a direction not to sketch.
But why, you might ask? What harm can a few arty, sketchy types fiddling around with a few pencils and some delightful egg-coloured 180g paper come to?
Perhaps they might leap up in a fit of sketching passion and stab their pens or pencils into the painting they're sketching, you know, because when people love a painting very much they like to attack it virgorously with sharp, pointy objects?
Surprisingly no. Sketching is banned at the exhibition because of the "internet". That's right, as explained to our ruffian, art-loving party, if we were allowed to sketch the paintings we might scan them and sell them on the internet... passing them off as the the real thing and thus fraudulently making a fortune!
Two things: firstly, that's insane; and secondly, does anyone else think there's something fishy about the no-sketching rule when read in light of the first line of the exhibition's explanatory text: "In the early part in his career, DEGAS MADE CAREFUL COPIES OF THE WORK OF THE MASTERS."
So denied the possibility of sketching in front of the painting, I've had a go at one from memory. I think you'll agree the similarity is striking; the only thing left to figure out is what to set my reserve price at. Do I hear $3 million?