Hollywood actor/art lover Steve Martin wrote a stylish insight about the glamour and subterfuge of New York's art world in his neatly illustrated novel An Object of Beauty.
Taking the premise that the work of a deceased artist tends to increase demand, Peter Burnett’s latest novel, The Studio Game questions the fashionable demand for conceptual art. Tracing the brushstrokes of Duchamp and Dali, is it all rather tongue in cheek expressionism or true creative talent?
Set around the mean streets, pubs and galleries of Aberdeen, two young artists Liska and Guy, struggle for recognition and mega bucks. Blending self-deprecation, witty asides and academic debate on the role of the artist, we follow their plight trying to understand who can judge commercial status and market value.
Guy soon begins to realise that “ artists don’t define art or the concepts that justify it. Art lovers bring the art world into being and the artists are always innocent.”
Burnett has created a lovable, slightly eccentric anti-hero surrounded by a weird and wonderful plethora of characters. This bittersweet, dreamlike tale may be fiction but the astutely-researched narrative is set within today’s real art auction market of Warhol, Emin, Hirst and Creed.
Burnett’s previous novels, The Supper Book and The Machine Doctor received high praise - “ hilarious, informative and just a tad crazy ” … “ an exhilarating and anarchic comedy. ”
Likewise, The Studio Game is a cleverly constructed, rollercoaster ride, rich in humour, taking us on an intellectual and emotional journey which also challenges our own notion of “what is art” along the way.
The Studio Game – Peter Burnett
Fledgling Press £7.99.
E book - £ 3.99