No sale for nude Madonna and Guy from BBC News
Madonna & Guy, an admittedly rather unflattering likeness by Peter Howson, was estimated to rake in between £15,000 ($24,603) and £22,000 on Saturday at McTear’s, the Glasgow-based Scottish auction house, but didn’t sell — despite generating unprecedented press coverage, a McTear’s representative said. The painting had been commissioned by a Scottish collector in 2005 and was one of many the Scottish artist had painted of Madonna.
this is an excellent example of ‘it’s nude and it’s a celebrity therefore it must be art!’ throw in two celebrities and a whole lot of hype and you will get this auction. but no amount of twitter buzz, news sites and publicity will turn this painting into an attractive and desirable work of art. I notice that the leading buzz was very careful to mention the names of Madonna and Guy Ritchie as much as possible but you had to really really dig to find a picture of the piece.
having a celebrity as a subject is usually good for reputation boosting, buzz and moneys in the bank. and Peter Howson has received a lot of hype and exhibition requests due to this series. I feel a need to say however, that probably having the piece closely resemble the celebrities in question might work a bit better. Without the hype I would never have known who those people were supposed to be. I do like some of the tones and shadows used, but overall I find myself unsurprised that this piece did not sell. perhaps people are not as all out celebrity obsessed as we thought.