2008 Notebook: Weak XII
gratuitous image
20 March 2008
No. 5,678 (cartoon)
Will you ever love me?

21 March 2008
Faux Mirós!

It seems that thousands of people recently bought forged prints falsely attributed to Alexander Calder, Marc Chagall, Juan Miró, and Pablo Picasso. Police in Italy, Spain, and the United Stated have arrested some of the alleged perpetrators, but not before they foisted thousands of ersatz art pieces on gullible plebeians.

I don’t have much sympathy for the crooks or their victims. The forgers were simply playing by the rules of the contemporary art world, where the signature is the real product and the art is merely the buy-product.

“Con artists should not be confused with master artists,” opined Patrick J. Fitzgerald, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois.

What does a government lawyer know about contemporary art? In fact, the fakers represent the con in contemporary art.

As for their customers, I imagine they were quite happy with their “Calders,” “Chagalls,” “Mirós,” and “Picassos.” I’m sure they looked real pretty, and since they came with a fake “certificate of authenticity,” the dupes must have been satisfied with their purchases.

I think they should still be satisfied with their forgeries. After all, the prints look exactly like they always did. Who cares if they were created decades after the people to whom they’re attributed died? If they wanted a financial investment, they should have bought pork bellies, not faux “Mirós.”

22 March 2008
James Thurber, Mathematician
I’ve never thought much one way or the other about James Thurber. He’s just another one of those people who did good work in his time. His time is not my time, and that’s that, aesthetically speaking.

Wrong wrong. As is so frequently the case, I’m wrong wrong again.

It turns out that Thurber was a brilliant mathematician, who had a brilliant insight into the complexities of irrational numbers.

“One martini is all right. Two are too many, and three are not enough.”

Wow; James Thurber was an hombre!

23 March 2008
Muslim Days and Nights
Earlier this month I noticed that there were three flavors of dusk. That’s true in some scientific circles, but things are simpler in other communities. For example, I heard that Muslims have a simple, elegant way of bifurcating between day and night.

The system requires a white thread and a black thread. It’s day when you can tell the difference between them; it’s night when you can’t. Black and white, day and night: simple, no?

24 March 2008
Art Loss Register
I read about a company called Art Loss Register that’s supposed to help people find missing art. Having lost or misplaced a lot of my art ideas over the years, I visited the company’s Internet site. There, I found this option, “Request a search of the Art Loss Register’s database to discover whether an item has been registered as lost or stolen.”

I looked around, and didn’t find a single one of my missing ideas. That suggests that either the Art Loss Register staff is incompetent, or that the thieves who stole my art and ideas are quite skilled.

25 March 2008
Questionable Insight
“In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.”

Robert Frost said that. I think that’s not a very persuasive perspicacity, coming as it does from a dead guy.

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©2008 David Glenn Rinehart