An image of people staring intently at stark gallery walls along with a compelling artist's story of creating "invisible art," some of it "heavy" sculpture, caused an uproar on the Internet this week. CBC reported the art was bringing "millions," sparking such comments as "My, my another one making money out of fools!" It seemed to be a case of the Emperor's New Clothes.
Canadian comedians Pat Kelly and Peter Oldring were behind the hoax. The artist, 27-year-old Lana Newstrom, is real, and apparently in on the joke.
“Art is about imagination and that is what my work demands of the people interacting with it. You have to imagine a painting or sculpture is in front of you,” Newstrom supposedly quipped.
The Guardian's Johnathan Jones wrote why he thought this satire resonated: "The reason CBC’s joke story had legs is not so much that we want to laugh at contemporary art, as that we are so shocked and repelled by the art market. The image of rich people forking out for invisible art and proudly showing it to their friends as the very latest thing is such a glorious image of plutocratic idiocy that it just had to be true."