17 March 2007

Err you could call it “Still life with brick dust”

A sculpture by Anish Kapoor, entrusted to a specialist fine art storage firm, was probably mistaken for builders' rubble, dumped in a skip and destroyed by a waste crusher.

Hole and Vessel II in polystyrene, cement, earth, acrylic and pigment, was stored by the collector Ofir Scheps with Fine Art Logistics, in south-west London, where it promptly disappeared without trace.

Yesterday Mr Justice Teare decided that its most likely fate was linked to building work at the site which led to it passing into a skip, then to a waste transfer site where it must have been crushed. The judge decided compensation should be £351,375, made up of its £132,000 value at the time of loss and £219,375 for the amount it would have increased since that time.

Mr Justice Teare also admitted that the sculpture, which was created in 1984, had left him lost for words. "It is not possible for me to describe it," he said. "One expert described it as sensuous and sexy, the other as clumsy and somewhat absurd." There was, however, agreement that it was made during Kapoor's transitional phase when he was "moving away from an exploration of the male/female dichotomy towards an exploration of the void"

… Or the Emperor’s new clothes. I don’t believe in destroying art, like I don’t believe in burning books (even Mein Kampf ), but it was hideous. More fool Scheps for spending over £100k on it in the first place!


elasticwaistbandlady said...

It must have been really butt ugly for the garbage men or a passerby not to have stolen it. Listen, I set out a plastic rocking fish that had seen a better day after enduring 6 rowdy kids. Somebody picked it up at the curb. WTH??!?? Today, we set out our very shabby 10 year old kitchen table with the wobbly legs and broken tiles on top. Somebody just took all the legs off it before the dump truck got here. Again, WTH???!?? So, really and truly one man's trash is another man's treasure?

jams o donnell said...

We've had the same.. I've put stuff out the front and it goes.. I cant believe what people will harvest but if that's what they want then good lucjk to them.. just so long as they don't harvest the car!

Anonymous said...

"More fool Scheps for spending over £100k on it in the first place". A better reading of the press coverage of the case would reveal the fact that Scheps spent in the region of £20k on the sculpture.

jams o donnell said...

In which case I will amend that statement to "More fool Scheps for spending in the region of £20k on it in the first place"

But still more fool Scheps...