Can this controversial painting by Richard Gomez be considered art?
October 10, 2019 Shaina Dulay
If you go on Twitter and look at the trending list today, you would see Richard Gomez there. All because of his controversial yellow penis paintings.
Apparently, Richard Gomez’s controversial yellow penis painting was also seen in last year’s Art Fair Philippines, under the lineup of contemporary art gallery Secret Fresh.
The controversial 48″x48″ painting is titled “OOOOHH,” and was made using black and yellow acrylic paint on wood. Sources say it was for sale for PHP 196,000.
We must warn you that this painting is NSFW, so caution ahead!
Photo credit to Jayvee Araneta
The painting is a part of this year’s ManilArt exhibition held in the SMX Convention Center, SM Aura Premier, Taguig City. The exhibition will run until October 13.
Vandalism priced at a high value?
Because of this controversial ‘SPG’ painting, people of the internet have been expressing their disbelief. Many are asking if it’s real, and some are just plain laughing about the whole thing.
However, a lot of people are also throwing their negative opinions about the ‘yellow titi art’. The status of the artist, Richard Gomez, was especially also taken into account.
As Filipinos, almost everyone of us knows Richard Gomez. He is a celebrity and is even a mayor now for Ormoc City. As a result, no one could deny that his high status is a factor on the value of his yellow penis painting.
Richard Gomez is clearly using hispaintings for money not for the sake of making ART. His work has no originality & utter BS to me. He is not a real artist. The Penis Painting is just insulting
— Zen Does Tweets (@ZenDoesTweets) October 10, 2019
Me to myself when I saw Richard Gomez’ penis painting: “Art is anything that is man-made, art is anything that is man-made, art is anything that is man-made.”
I had to remind myself this dahil muntik na akong mapasabi na hindi art yon kasi tangina naman.
— one trick unique-whore-uhn (@nixllamas) October 10, 2019
the “net worth” of richard gomez is added to his supposedly artworks
even my 8-year-old brother can paint that dick but it won’t sell for a shit because it’s not made by a famous persona https://t.co/eE4XXukKT0
— °Д° (@ChristineFrncsc) October 10, 2019
A lot of people are also comparing it to vandalism which can usually be seen in public bathrooms. Honestly, the netizens’ tweets make a lot of sense.
However, another Twitter user also made a good point upon discussion whether Richard Gomez’s paintings could be considered ‘art’.
A lesson on contemporary art consumption
Twitter user Hanzel has made a lengthy thread on this issue. You can read it fully by clicking here.
: TITING DILAW: Why is Richard Gomez’s “OOOOHH” sold at Php196k, while penis sketches at bathroom walls worth nothing?
(a thread) pic.twitter.com/jLjPs3U8jc
— Hanzel (@HanzelEveryday) April 13, 2018
Moreover, let’s look at some important points about the discussion.
“The art world, or the economic aspect of art production and distribution, does not work in the same landscape as with common consumer products. Basically, the prices of art are largely dictated by the works’ cultural and aesthetic value.
The prices depend on many factors such as the artist, the work itself in relation to other works of the artist, what others say about the work, and its collectable value. Normally, the artist and the gallery selling the work dictate the work’s market price.
Richard Gomez, an actor-turned-politician, though an art lover, is still a neophyte in the art world, having exhibited his first solo art exhibition last year at Pinto Art Museum. He hasn’t amassed a large body of work yet.However, in my opinion, what pushed his work’s price value at Php196k is his status as a public figure and the perceived collectable value of his work, as his ‘early work’. In the art world, an esteemed artist’s ‘early work’ is always pricier.”
A good read right? This is a very good perspective to look at because the ‘art world’ looks at things differently than the normal people. Moreover, we could say that art belongs to those who have the power to consume it. So when someone wants to buy Richard Gomez’s painting, the buyer clearly considers it as ‘art’.
So why is a penis-vandal worth nothing, while Gomez’ yellow dick is worth thousands? Because’ Gomez’ OOOOHH, more than its supposed meaning, the object is regarded by the art world as art and is priced as such.
What we think of it
A lot of people may scoff at his painting, but we can’t deny that complaining or making fun of it would change its value.
Unless the ‘art world’ decides its worth nothing, those with power and money like Richard Gomez will still have the privilege to get the most out of everything.