Guy Portelli (Dragon’s Den)

I was just watching British BBC’s Dragon’s Den, a tv-show where entrepreneurs look for investors for their business. And then Guy Portelli, a contemporary artist appeared. Guy Portelli makes limited editions sculptures of famous contemporary icons ranging from Grace Jones to Amy Winehouse. It is definitely interesting art that will be appealing to many contemporary collectors.

However it was the idea behind openly showing business intentions that struck me. It is obvious that Guy Portelli does know a thing or two about business and profit is one of the main reasons he makes the art. But does this compromise his artistic life ? Is his passion genuine or did he merely choose these popular subjects to get better sales ? As long as money is only the result and not the cause of the art, I’m perfectly fine with the idea.

For the record: he did get the investment which will be used for an art exhibition later this year/early 2009. I will follow up on what happens and how much a decent marketing campaign can help an artist to gain popularity (and hence inflate prices). Who will buy, how much does media influence “art taste”, will someone who is so open about moneymaking ideas ever gain respect in the die-hard (sometimes hypocritical) artistic world ? A very interesting experiment in many ways indeed.

Best of luck to Guy Portelli !

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