How art exists in the world

I work part time at an art museum. I’ve worked there for two years, and at a second one as a student… it’s made me consider it in ways I wouldn’t if I had never worked there. Sometimes it’s distracting and disheartening.

Recently, I stumbled upon this painting, which was damaged presumably by drunken young men.  It was reviewed years ago, and the decision was made not to remove the graffitti. Presumably this is because this painting will probably never be on view again, because no one cares about this person or its painter.

But look at this:

The object record of the gallery does not reflect the state that this painting is in. I’m not saying that the gallery should keep up on its records (actually, this is my job) and inform the public about this in any way.

Seeing this photo only makes me think about how things only exist on the internet these days, and how if the gallery does not show the image of the damaged painting, it’s as if the damage never happened.

The internet is a really powerful tool, in establishing the way things exist for people who don’t have access to a given art object. I have been thinking of a few web-based projects to investigate process.

I wish I could buy this painting and present it as a piece.