The Accountable, Bank of Ireland Art Auction


On the 24th of this month 155 works from the Bank of Ireland art collection were put up for auction  by Adam's,  with a further 2000 pieces to be sold over the next few years This caused a bit of a stir with crowds protesting outside the venue. Indeed, anything involving a bank will attract controversy and this was no different with people protesting about the bank's government bailout and about the bank bailing out from the arts.

I remember feeling excited when I first learned of the bank's support of the arts, in both its art collection and with student awards. A bank having a positive influence seems like an alien idea now. BOI claims that the proceeds of the sale will go back into supporting the arts community. However, many have pointed out that many of the works sold have left the country with foreign buyers and that the sudden unloading of art into the market will lessen the value of the art works. It is hard to say if this is a bad thing or not. I think it is foolish to say that such a work would have been valued much higher 5 years ago. It reminds me of those who, for the last three years have been whingeing that their second property used to be worth half a million euro now it would not even sell for 100,000 euro. I feel like shouting "No it wasn't, it was never worth that much that was all make believe money. That nonsense is all over now, stop going on about it".  I would rather see more people buy smaller art that a select few buying glory pieces.  Of course we will have to wait and see what BOI will do with the it would be foolish to simply trust that they will honour their word. It seems that the auction went well with many pieces selling for much more than estimated.

John Coen, We the Accountable.

Recently, I was talking to a business professor who's passion for art is the strongest I have seen in some time. He pointed out a piece being auctioned that had an incredible title. "We the Accountable" by John Coen sold for €5800.  I do not know what the artist's reasons for the title were, but I doubt he could have guessed that it would be so relevant today.



Images were obtained via google, please click on them for their sources. No copyright infringement intended.

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