I’m not sure how I feel about this. I guess, as an art lover I’m delighted to see passengers anxiously waiting, in a Champagne enclosed bar area, on a ship, ready to bid on works of art. As a tenacious-well-informed art lover, I cringe when I witness what goes on during these on board auctions.
The brochure read, “Bringing fine art to the world”. I think it should have read ‘you can bring back a costly arts souvenir from your trip, but frankly, it’s one of many copies. It’s not an original, but the frame is really nice”.
Sure, the works on view during every cruise, everywhere, are a business transaction. And that’s OK. However are bidders really getting their money’s worth?
I recently sat in on one of the hundreds of art auctions that I’ve enjoyed on cruises for a number of years. I especially enjoy the spiel. I like to listen to the hosts who have very limited information about art but are diligent about following a script with vigor…or else. They are great sales people and they vomit out a show’s worth of errors. But I digress.
Art on ships is equivalent to shoe sales. You can buy an original pair of Jimmy Choo or Louboutin heels for thousands of dollars or you can buy a copy. It depends on your standards. I’m happy with a copy. A cheap copy. That’s just me.
Be advised that what you purchase on a ship will be colorful, fun, dreamy and probably give your guests back home an eyeful of your savvy arts maneuverability, however whatever you purchase on board is a memorable COPY of another time and place and… there’s nothing wrong with that.
The photo included is of a Statue of Liberty water color that I painted for fun in less than 10 minutes on a recent transatlantic cruise. You must know who inspired this copy, (wink, wink). I would have gladly sold my original for $30 but no one seemed interested. I guess illustrious, unlimited copies by well-known arts merchants are more desirable than an original work by an unknown traditionalist. Oh well, vive la difference.