Only when an artist

Hong Kong Tatler - - The Great Debate -

greg mcna­mara

dies can we truly com­pre­hend the full ex­tent of what they have achieved. We are forced to view them in the con­text of their en­tire life’s prac­tice, not sim­ply what they are pro­duc­ing at a spe­cific mo­ment. Through this we dis­cover the truth of their work in the con­text of their en­tire oeu­vre. The great­est artists or move­ments were of­ten dra­mat­i­cally un­suc­cess­ful in their life­time; the im­pres­sion­ists were seen as blas­phe­mous in the 19th and 20th cen­turies, yet now their move­ment is one of the most cov­eted and recog­nised. The rebels of their time, who no one un­der­stood, are now con­sid­ered to be the greats. Af­ter the death of a great artist, the art world goes wild. Mu­se­ums and gal­leries hold ret­ro­spec­tives that are com­pelling and ex­cit­ing. In the art mar­ket, de­mand in­creases and prices soar. The 10 most ex­pen­sive works of art ever sold have all been by de­ceased artists. That is not to say con­tem­po­rary artists are not in­ter­est­ing, sim­ply that they be­come in­creas­ingly so af­ter they die. Only time and ret­ro­spec­tion can tell us where an artist will stand in the canon of art his­tory.

Greg is the founder of Mcna­mara Art Projects

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