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Con Art - Why you ought to sell your Damien Hirsts while you can [Kindle Edition]

Julian Spalding
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)

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Book Description

A concise explosion of the myths that created Con Art - above all the myth that art has to shock to be new...

The multi-million dollar reputations of Duchamp, Warhol, Beuys, Andre, Hirst, Koons, Gormley and many others lie in tatters after reading this book. Their art is worthless because it isn't art. Written by a leading gallery director who is not afraid to point out when the emperor has nothing on.

See his hilarious satire on the Con Art world - called Nothing On - also available on Kindle

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 332 KB
  • Print Length: 44 pages
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007IT5O1G
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #176,769 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I quite agree 2 April 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I won't give this book 5 stars overall because, as I'm sure the author will readily agree, it's not a masterpiece, but I WILL give his forthright opinions 5 stars. (I don't mean to be disparaging, but there are quite a few typos for such a small book - I counted three.) Sadly, I think this book will only serve to fan the flames and to cause con art to seem more radical, anti-establishment, esoteric and enigmatic... and thus more desirable and expensive. Like the author says, just because critics have been wrong in deriding so-called cutting-edge art in the past, doesn't mean critics are wrong this time. That is a false logic. It is sad that this book likely won't change any opinions. I think the readership of this book is a little self-selecting so the author will be preaching to the converted mostly. I will just let people know that this book is well written, but it IS very short. Perhaps like a double-page article in a weekend paper. But with no pictures - the author explains this absence in detail at the beginning!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars things that need to be said 20 Sept. 2012
By jonno
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
'Art': what does it mean to you? To me it is something uplifting, maybe thought-provoking perhaps beautiful. It gives me an insight into somebody else's view of the world and may, by doing so, expand my own understanding or insight. So how does what Julian Spalding refers to as 'Con Art' measure-up? Is it winning the race in terms of telling me something profound about the state of humanity? No. In fact it hasn't even got out of the starting blocks. Spalding's analysis of where Art 'went wrong' traces the various threads which have produced the fabric of the modern art world. Artists, dealers, collectors, curators, 'gallerists': the hall of shame is well-stocked. He takes us through the murky personal history of Duchamp and lets us peek into Warhol's factory. At the same time he deflates a few myths about how art comes to be regarded as valuable (in artistic, not just financial terms) with references to Van Gogh and Picasso among others. I won't rehearse the arguments here - suffice to say they are cogent, well-reasoned and, surprisingly, considering the enormity of the balloon to be pricked, really quite straight-forward.

Spalding is not one who insists that all art should be simplistic and representative and indeed, his understanding of recent and historical art movements and their social context adds force to his analysis.

The book is a relatively blunt instrument but it delivers its blow very effectively and I urge anyone with an interest in art, its role in society and its relationship with scholarship, and more particularly the world of 'Big Money' to read this. If you are not already sceptical about how art has progressed - or regressed - in the last century or so it may give you pause for thought.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars cat amongst the pigeons 8 April 2012
By Flora
Format:Kindle Edition
Julian Spalding's had the guts to say in public what many have been thinking and discussing in private for some time. He's caught the mood of the nation and hit a raw nerve in the con(ceptual) art world. According to The Financial Times, prices for Hirst's work (I'm wondering about the price tag on those caged sausages at the Tate) are already plummeting.
The Tate belongs to the nation, yet Spalding was refused entry to the Hirst exhibition. That, to me, says it all. If the emperor (Hirst and his work) is indeed clad in magnificent robes, what do they have to worry about? By excluding Spalding from the Tate, they've proven that even the courtiers are now realising the emperor is standing naked, but would like the public, and especially prospective buyers, to hold on to this highly lucrative illusion a little longer.
You could say Spalding has a cruel streak in him - hitting the con art world where it really hurts - the wallet.
Still, despite Spalding's valiant efforts, Hirst is assured a place in history, if only for illustrating the stupidity of the rich(17th Century Tulipmania is an earlier example of the same phenomenon)and for bringing us a new adjective: hirsty, as in "I think it's a bit hirsty" when encountering meat past its sell-by date.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I loved it... 1 April 2012
By Mike
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I loved it... Julian Spalding has managed to articulate in a most enjoyable and repeatable way everything I have always felt about "Con" Art, designer labels and the "art" of near fraudulent promotion and spin.

His summary stating that Con Art is negative is spot-on. I have always winced at the negativity of Hirsts and Emins art and conversely gasped at the beauty of - for instance - Turners Flint Castle.

Look! - the emperor is naked.....
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thank you for this book 1 April 2012
By Han
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Thank you very much for writing this book and explaining the difference between real art and con art. That's what many of us have been feeling for a long time but didn't know how to express.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Amusingly bitter rant 4 April 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The author obviously is very passionate about the topic. Whilst I both and agree and disagree with him, an Amazon review is not the place to debate. As a book, it's a fun read, not the best laid out argument but well worth the time and bargain price. Whether you agree or disagree with his point, it will provoke a reaction in you.
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5.0 out of 5 stars a fun and insightful read 28 Dec. 2014
By Qingyao
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
In Julian's highly vivid and easy to follow language, he argues that 'found object' such as Damien's work cannot be counted as a piece of art. It makes an interesting reading, from the anecdote with queen, to the ridicule of con artist. I finish the reading at once since it's quite articulating and entertaining. I find it hard to say no to his argument, even though I think some of the found objects can be turned into contemporary art.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A timely contribution to the philosophy of
A timely contribution to the philosophy of Art
Published 28 days ago by rt
5.0 out of 5 stars great little read..
Totally brilliant little book. Loved it. Tells it how it is. Hirst's works are not at all art he is just fake
Published 5 months ago by veronika
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A breath of fresh air. An honest and witty look at the art world of today.
Published 6 months ago by Marion Stewart
5.0 out of 5 stars Vehemently argued.
I was at college with Julian Spalding and recognise from then his impassioned way of arguing. It's coherent and lively. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Ms. Mary Fletcher
5.0 out of 5 stars Educational
I learned a lot reading this short book. I didn't know any of the background for what Mr Spalding calls Con Art. The history of Duchamp's urinal was a particular eye opener.
Published 15 months ago by Ms J. Kirby
3.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining though flawed
A brief rant but quite an entertaining one. Refreshingly wrong in parts. Does more good than harm in my opinion.
Published 15 months ago by Prospecta
3.0 out of 5 stars Extremely biased
Not a bad read, but biased to the point that it is difficult to take seriously. Little or know referencing to support wild statements made by someone who I do not believe... Read more
Published 16 months ago by Ejt
1.0 out of 5 stars Tired and anything but brave.
I detest Damien Hirst's art almost as much I detest that of Sarah Lucas and others that came to prominence alongside him. Read more
Published 20 months ago by Mr. David R. Watson
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliantly funny and very important book.
This is a must read book if you want to see through the highly controlled work of conceptual art, what some call art-bollocks. Read more
Published 23 months ago by A. J. Davidson
5.0 out of 5 stars It's how you see it personally that matters really.
like what I like because I like it. Live and let live, I love traditional forms of art and contemporary and like some con art as you may put it. Read more
Published on 30 Jan. 2013 by Goat boy
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