The Greg Brady Project

Welcome to the official Barry Williams' blog

My friends call me Barry. From time to time I also hear the name Greg. Yeah, as in Greg Brady. The Brady Bunch represents a fun time in my life. But it’s only part of the story. There’s more to say and that’s what The Greg Brady Project is all about – a place to say it. So, I’ve invited some friends to join me and share their perspectives on the Brady’s, the 70′s and just about everything else. Now, I’m inviting you…

19 Jan
Bob Hunt

Eye of the Beholder

written by Bob Hunt in Blog | 4 comments

Take a good look at the above painting. That’s right: painting. If you thought you were looking at a photograph, then give kudos to the artist for achieving realism through oil on canvas. Now, ask yourself: is this a good piece of art? Is it something that clearly required a talented hand, an accomplishment that is not likely to be within reach of the average person? What if I told you that this painting greets visitors in the atrium of the Louvre in Paris and has an estimated value of 3.5 million euros? Has your estimation of its artistic strength increased? What if I then told you that I bought this painting for $20 in the clearance aisle at Sears? Might it suddenly seem less impressive as a creative statement?

No, you say to yourself, I know what I like, and it doesn’t matter what monetary value the world places on such things. I would like to believe you, but then I’ve just read Randolph E. Schmid’s AP article about a California Institute of Technology study in which the price of a wine appears to influence the actual pleasure it delivers. Tasters who thought they were sampling four different wines were in fact served two wines twice. One wine was presented as retailing for $90 a bottle (its actual price) and again for a mere $10. The second wine was identified as going for $5 a bottle (fact) and was served a second time as a $45 wine (fiction). The tasters perceived that the “more expensive” wines tasted better. In fact – here’s the scary part – MRI’s of their brain activity revealed that they actually experienced greater pleasure when they believed they were tasting a more expensive wine!

Back to our painting and my original question: is this a good piece of art? Do you like it? Because if you do like it, it may interest you to know that it was painted by Eve Plumb. That’s right, Eve Plumb. If you assumed that “Three Chairs” was created by a name more popularly associated with the art world, then you owe it to yourself visit her website, where you can check out some other paintings she’s done. Who knows? You might find yourself contacting a gallery and making an inquiry as to how you might own one of her works yourself.

After all, you do know what you like, don’t you?

 

4 Comments

    Barry Williams
    on Jan. 19th, 2008

    Bob, Nicely done. This may help me reconnect with Eve. I haven’t until now seen an example of her work. It is fantastic. I almost took a seat on my monitor! She is very talented. I wish I didn’t remind her of The Brady Bunch, we might have more time together.

    Laura
    on Jan. 20th, 2008

    I never realized what a talented artist Eve Plumb is. I enjoyed looking through her website. And yes, I thought it was a photograph at first glance.

    You’re right, things are perceived differently if there is value placed on them.

    martinjy
    on Jan. 23rd, 2008

    Great post. Do you think the MRI thing is all about self-satisfaction and ego?

    P.S. I immediately liked the painting.

    Bob Hunt
    on Jan. 24th, 2008

    Thanks, martinjy. Self-satisfaction and ego? Maybe. I suppose if I’d spent $90 on a bottle of wine, I would want to convince myself that I truly enjoyed it!

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