Recently, the revealing new Dutch book Tussen Kunst en Cash by Pieter van Os and Arjen Ribbens was published (the title would translate as 'Between Art and Cash'). Both of these men are journalists for several Dutch newspapers, including the NRC. In this compelling book, they delve deeper into conflicts of interest in the art world, along with scandals surrounding insider trading, scams and forgeries. The story is described in various case studies, including that of Beatrix Ruf, the Royal Family and the Moco Museum. These shadowy corners of the art world can be explained in part when you consider the fact that the global art market was worth a whopping $ 64 billion in 2020, a context in which art became an increasingly attractive investment opportunity. But, as Pieter van Os noted in the Dutch tv program Buitenhof, "because it involves art, people generally don’t deem it worthy of much critical thought and, in extension, critical writing.
Berend Strik, Galerie Fons Welters.
In this context Das Mag, publisher of the book, was looking for a playful and positive contribution to the art world, at the end of an unprecedented year that was incredibly tough on the art sector. The result is a unique auction for a good cause. The proceeds go to the Ramses Shaffy Foundation, which initiates various projects for young artists. For the auction, Das Mag invited eight artists to create a work of art containing a copy of Tussen Kunst en Cash. The works will be auctioned on May 30.
Philip Akkerman, Torch Gallery.
For example, Berend Strik, who is known for his embroidered artworks, made a photo collage that he processed using fabric and stitching, all on top of the cover of the book. Philip Akkerman's contribution to the auction weighs no less than seventeen kilograms. For a moment, it seems as though he didn’t make a self-portrait for once, but if you know a little about his work, that seems nearly impossible. The work of art consists of a vise that compresses the book forcibly; on the one hand by art, on the other by cash. A bookmark sticks out of the book, that, you guessed it, contains a very small self-portrait, made on a single dollar bill.
Koen Taselaar, Galerie Cokkie Snoei.
Koen Taselaar, who works from his own humorous universe, pierced the book in such a way that it creates a kind of smiley face, but not necessarily a satisfied or a happy smiley. Peter Struycken, the creator of the iconic Queen Beatrix stamp, makes the original drawing available, accompanied by a text about the ways in which the postal industry has also been affected negatively by money.
Peter Struycken, andriesse eyck galerie.
Paul van der Eerden provides the cover of the book with a powerful and relativising text that puts the focus back where it should be: “We need to remember that without artists there would be no art fairs, no collectors, no consultants, no critics, no magazines, no museums, no transport companies, no gala dinners, no art world!”
Paul van der Eerden, Galerie Maurits van de Laar. Curious? Viewing day: Saturday 29 May from 2 pm to 5 pm, a viewing day in the gallery / shop of Droog Design
View the works, in addition to works by Brian Elstak, Marina Lemaire and Quentley Barbara, in the Auction Catalog.
Instagram auction: Sunday May 30 viade Das Mag's Instagram