Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Honouring the artist with advertising?

Today the New Zealand Herald celebrates 150 years of publishing with a souvenir edition honouring 150 of the greatest New Zealanders since 1863. Colin McCahon is in the lineup of inspirational figures with a half-page spread of images and text on his selection as New Zealander of the year for 1954. The piece introduces him as one of the country's most influential artists, whose work is highly prized by collectors, fetching big prices, and goes on to say: "But the true value of art is not calibrated in dollars and cents, but in cultural influence and by this standard there has been no greater painter in New Zealand than Colin McCahon. Sitting under the piece is a half-page advertisement by an auction house promoting its share of the McCahon market and a total McCahon turnover of $13.5 million. A curious editorial decision by the Herald.
Image: Colin McCahon in his studio