Yes, that Steve Martin (MAN that is a funny clip).
A few weeks ago I had on in the background CBS Sunday Morning while I was doing a bit of work at home. A story came on about Steve Martin and what he was up to. I had no idea that he was a Grammy award winning artist – on the banjo. I love banjos.
They mentioned that he had written another book (I didn’t even know he had written one before) and that it was about the world of collectible art. Mr. Martin is a fine art collector. As I have aged I have learned to appreciate paintings and other types of art more and more so this looked to be an interesting book. I ordered it up on Amazon with a few other things for my anti-library the next day.
An Object of Beauty is a novel that is primarily about a woman (Lacey Yeager) who works her way (literally and sexually) through the world of art. Martin knows a lot about this world, and I liked very much the way he described different characters who have seemingly unlimited money. One of Ms. Yeager’s suitors just hops on the Concord at the drop of a hat to come see her.
But the novel isn’t really a love story – although we hear a lot about Lacey’s love interests. It is a novel about how the art world works and the interesting sorts of people that inhabit it. Pricing of fine art is also discussed at length. Of particular interest to me was getting a better grip on why people pay tens, or hundreds of thousands of dollars (or millions) for what to me is a canvas of splattered paint that seemingly my ten year old daughter could paint. Also discussed are fakes, how they are spotted and other interesting details of how the art world works.
I don’t want to give too much of the novel away. The book was very easy to read and understand for a novice art guy like me, and many of the paintings that are talked about are displayed in the book in full color. A very nice touch that I really appreciated.
I am very happy I picked this one up and read it very quickly – it moves along nicely. I highly recommend it for your winter reading.