The best thing about contemporary art as far as I can see is how it deals with certain issues. Take authenticity, for example. I read in the New York Times that a Damien Hirst shark is decomposing in its tank and that one of the Hirst people said that replacing the shark with a second one won’t affect the integrity of the piece. I love that! I wonder what the insurance industry’s take on that is?
In my business, I have people asking me just exactly what has been done to restore a piece and the answer, in the trade in general, is nothing. I don’t agree with that answer but people are generally quite skittish about buying anything that has even seen the inside of a restorer’s studio. And everything has in some way or another.
No, contemporary art knows how to deal with their clientele. I can’t help but reiterate, I love that! Imagine building half of a house and then telling the client it was finished because the idea of the house was the important thing. I wonder what will happen when there are no more sharks to fill the tank? You still have the tank, the formaldehyde and, of course, the idea.