Today in inexplicably offensive news: An L.A.–based online art store with ties to Nigella Lawson’s ex-husband—millionaire art collector Charles Saatchi—is selling paintings depicting him choking his ex-wife. The art, as Grub Street points out, is bad in any context, but given that Saatchi actually choked Lawson at a restaurant a year ago (a nasty divorce and even nastier drug allegations followed), they’re deplorable.
Of the 40,000 paintings on the website, there’s seven pieces of “throttle art,” the Daily Mail reports. One painting has a lofty $30,000 price-tag. Disturbingly, but not unexpectedly, Saatchi doesn’t really see the fuss. In an email to The Daily Mail, Saatchi says, ”Would it have been a better story if I had censored artists whose work might be personally disobliging?” and goes on to call throttle art a mini genre. Don’t worry, folks, it’s not a full-on genre yet.
Jane Kelly, the artist behind Art Collector Throttling a Cook, says “I put it on there to have a laugh at Saatchi,”others are more idealistic about the meaning of their throttle artwork. “It’s not really controversial,” the painter behind the Van Gough-styled Saatchi & Saatchi, Darren Udaiyan, explains.
“Saatchi is strangling Nigella, but it’s also about him squeezing the art market. It works on many levels. It’s a comment on the art market and how people control it.”
Yeah, we’re not buying it.
Look on, and be disturbed.
“Saatchi & Saatchi” (Photo: Saatchi Art/D Udaiyan)
“Art collector throttling a cook” (Photo: Saatchi Art/Jane Kelly)
“Last Course” (Photo: Saatchi Art/Pete Jones)
“Charles Saatchi vs Nigella Lawson” (Photo: Saatchi Art/Carface Margybab)
“Domestic Irony One” (Photo: Saatchi Art/Pete Jones)