Artists' worth relies on fame and name, i.e. a signature.
In today’s art market, such a name has become a brand. No matter how good or bad the artwork is, provided it is signed with a “recognized name”.
For instance, the Spanish surrealist painter Salvador Dali gave away around 20,000 blank sheets of paper with his... signature, triggering a flood of forged Dali prints.
British journalist Mick Brown bore witness to one such scene. He was in Dali’s suite at the Ritz Hotel in
Barcelona in the summer of 1973, he
said, and watched the maestro churning through “a large pile of blank sheets of
lithographic paper. As Dalí signed each sheet, his companion and muse, Amanda
Lear, joked that ‘that’s another $100,000 Dalí has made this morning’...
That year, celebrated genius artist Orson Welles had these deep comments in his “F for Fake” film:
"Our works in stone, in paint, in print, are spared, some of them, for a few decades or a millennium or two, but everything must finally fall in war, or wear away into the ultimate and universal ash - the triumphs, the frauds, the treasures and the fakes. A fact of life: we're going to die. "Be of good heart," cry the dead artists out of the living past. "Our songs will all be silenced, but what of it? Go on singing." Maybe a man's name doesn't matter all that much."
We live in a society dominated by a cult of celebrities, where artists have become "brand-names" to sell... anything but their own art. People are "famous", not thanks to their talent, but because they are "famous"... This hasn't always been the case...
With film extracts from "F for fake" (by Orson Welles), "The name of the rose" directed by Jean-Jacques Annaud, based on the book of the same name by Umberto Eco. Music "Fame" by David Bowie.
Richard Feynman: "What's the name of a bird?"