Art Market News Flash – Drawing by Artistic Genius to be Sold at Auction
The term “artistic genius” is typically reserved for artists such as Michelangelo, Da Vinci, Rembrandt, Van Gogh etc. whose supreme technical skills and highly advanced ideas created a demand and desire for their work that resulted in their status as the most skilled and highly valued artists in the art market. Due to the conceptual nature of modern art, technical skill is no longer the major determining factor in the popularity and status of an artist within the art market which means that the classical definition of an “artistic genius” is no longer relevant.
This shift in the art market has resulted in an almost complete disregard for the traits that in the past would have resulted in an artist being identified as a genius which I think is a huge shame. One such artist is the autistic savant Stephen Wiltshire (http://www.stephenwiltshire.com) whose extraordinary talent for drawing has resulted in an OBE for services to the arts. Unfortunately the art market has not been as responsive to Stephen’s talents as one would hope primarily because his work does not display the characteristics that create demand and desire in the contemporary art market. I was therefore extremely excited when I heard that one of Stephen’s drawings was being sold at auction for the first time and am now determined to promote this auction as much as possible
According to the press release from the Bonhams website, Autistic savant Stephen Wiltshire, the subject of a BBC documentary on his artistic skills, produced an extraordinary pen and ink drawing of Salisbury Cathedral which will be sold by Bonhams on 25th September at Knightsbridge which is probably the first time such an item has ever been auctioned. Alistair Laird, Director of Bonhams 19th Century Paintings, will be selling this extraordinary work for an estimated figure of £400 to £600 which I think is extremely good value considering the rarity of such talent and the future potential of this true artistic genius. I would like to urge everyone to get behind this sale and tell as many people as you can so that Stephen Wiltshire receives the status and profile within the art market that he so obviously deserves. Think the next Michelangelo……
More information on the auction can be found here
**Nicholas Forrest is an art market analyst, art critic and journalist based in Sydney, Australia. He is the founder of artmarketblog.com, writes the art column for the magazine Antiques and Collectibles for Pleasure and Profit and contributes to many other publications.