|JJ Ignatius Brennan The Artist's Hand 2003|
One of the curators of the forthcoming exhibition being organised by AXNS (see previous post) has come back empty-handed from Glaxo Smith Kline.We have been informed by them that Migraine Man has been designated as officially missing. GSK don’t know where he is.The fifth biggest pharmaceutical company in the world apparently does not have an official catalogue of it’s art collection, whatever that means.But they do have someone in charge of it! Does that mean that other work they own by more famous artists ,such as John Piper, is sitting around in unmarked cupboards, unopened for ages, or on a toilet wall in one of their many sites in UK?
O K, GSK didn’t spend a lot of money, by their standards, on buying Migraine Man, but they do spend a hell of a lot on commissioning well known artists for a new site, for example. I don’t believe that they pay cash and don’t have any documentation. Should I inform the Treasury that there might be tax avoidance going on? Whatever the case, this is pretty sloppy work by one of the biggest companies in the world. I also feel a bit insulted that they have such lack of respect for my artwork I put a fair bit of time into creating that piece and you always feel if someone thinks it’s worth buying they will make sure that it is seen by others. The exhibition being organized by AXNS is a case in point, where I feel it could have maybe contributed something towards the understanding of Migraine. But the public will have to make do with seeing a printed copy of it, which will not have the same impact.
I know that other artists have had similar experiences. Why do these big companies even bother to buy work by us lesser mortals when really they want only Damien Hirsts so they can sell them on when they feel like it?