Wednesday, January 25, 2006

RCA Secret 2005 by bourgeois wife

I love this article posted by blogger Bourgeois wife. To see the original go to her blog:

A royal robbery
'It's 8am on a November morning and the temperature's hovering somewhere around minus three. The weather forecast predicts the worst blizzards in a decade. What shall we do?'

'I know, let's put on some flimsy clothing and forget to eat breakfast. Then let's stand outside in the cold for four hours, queueing to buy a £35 piece of lazily-scribbled tat that purports to be art!'

'What a resoundingly fucking brilliant idea. Let's do that!'

And herein lies the success of the Royal College of Art's annual Secret Sale.

The idea is simple. RCA graduates past and present contribute a postcard-sized piece of work. Every one is priced £35 and nothing is signed or labelled - you're not told who the artist is until you've paid for the piece. Since past RCA students have gone on to enjoy swizzy careers, there is a chance you could go home with a Damien Hirst, Tracey Emin, Julian Opie or David Bailey. Or you could not. More than 2,000 artists take part and approximately 15 of those are big names - you work out the chances.

It's a brilliant wheeze in that it appeals both to people's greed and their vanity. Every Guardian-reading, Tate Modern-frequenting, Grim-Up-North-London nonce likes to think they could spot an Emin at 50 paces. And what if they managed to grab one for £35? Just think of the kudos! Oh, how they could brag over the griddled aubergine at Ottolenghi! Everyone at the Duke of Cambridge would be green. And think what it would fetch on Ebay! (Although it's not done to verbalise this last thought. I said as much and was bollocked by some mealy-mouthed twerp who said it was 'not in the spirit of the event'. What a liar.)

The sale opens at 8am and attracts somewhere in the region of two billion people, all desperate to get their hands on some art, and all in front of me in the queue. Many have camped out overnight (although as of next year, this will be banned, thanks to 'unsanitary practices'). By the time I eventually got to the cashdesk, there were about 10 postcards left. One of which was a photograph of a poo with a flag in it. I'm not joking.

But, having waited that long, I wasn't about to go home empty handed. I limited myself to one; Husband got carried away and bought four, the maximum purchase allowed. I don't think Charles Saatchi will be shitting his pants, somehow. Our artists are total nobodies, without so much as a Google entry to their name. Actually, that's not strictly true - mine is a professor at the University of Richmond, although I have serious doubts there's any such place.

What's really annoying is that yesterday I saw a genuinely lovely picture, framed, for the same price as these five stupid postcards I have no idea what to do with. You'd think I'd have learned something from the Stella-McCartney-at-H&M experience. But no.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Lefteris Heretakis's take on RCA secret

Lefteris is one of the artists who contributes to RCA Secret. He is also a member and contributor to the rca secret yahoo groups. Here is his take on RCA secret:

"As a practicing illustrator, RCA Secret is a great opportunity to be completely
free of
any limitations that apply to the real world. It is a lot different for the fine
artists of the
group. Being anonymous initially is also fun. Overall, RCA Secret is an amzing