Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Was it art?

Fire destroys art warehouse in London, many works feared to be gone, but nobody really knows what, or isn't saying. Chances are you've breathed in some of the art-molecules by now. I'm in agreement with Brian Sewell on this one:


Today a painful task will begin in Leyton, east London: picking through the remains of a devastating fire which destroyed a huge warehouse containing priceless works of art. Many of the lost works are from the collection of Charles Saatchi. It is thought that they may include Jake and Dinos Chapman's Hell.

Tracey Emin's famous Everyone I Have Ever Slept With may be another: the tent appliqued with the names of her past lovers was the star of the famous Royal Academy Sensation! exhibition and to many became emblematic of the endeavours of a generation of young British artists. "I don't know what specific pieces have been lost," Mr Saatchi said yesterday. "So far it has been a day of many rumours."

Momart's clients include the National Gallery, Tate Modern, Tate Britain and Buckingham Palace, and the destroyed warehouse made up 5 to 10% of the company's storage capacity.

Brian Sewell, the London Evening Standard's art critic, told BBC News 24 that the blaze "had the makings of an appalling tragedy for the history of contemporary art".

The Big Smoker has some reportage on this incident too:

The best report of the whole incident, however, comes from The Telegraph (and you won't find us saying that very often).

Under the headline The night Hell was consumed by flames The Telegraph actually talks to the Chapman Brothers and manges to get some typically Chapmanesque quotes from the pair:

"We will just make it again. It's only art."
"I suspect it will in fact have gone up in value if it has been burnt to death."And on Emin's tent being destroyed: "That would be nice."

But what's nice about the Telegraph's article is they dare to tell us that there were works in the warehouse apart from those belonging to Saatchi!

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