ArtsBeat reports that a gold leaf fresco by 2009 Turner Prizer-winner Richard Wright has been sanded and painted over by workers at the Tate Britain — and it wasn’t an accident. Wright, who told The Guardian that he believes that there’s “too much stuff in the world,” intends for his elaborate wall paintings to be temporary.
“Why has the Sistine Chapel survived? Because we need it. Some things are necessary. But perhaps not as many things as we think.”
Fair enough — we hate hoarding and we can imagine how this sort of thing would be freeing. But it seems like a shame when you consider how much work went into its creation: a drawn cartoon was transferred to the wall, painted with adhesive, and then covered with gold leaf. And what of the people who didn’t get to the Tate Britain to see it? Hopefully someone is planning to turn all of that sanded gold dust into cash.