My time in the parallel universe that is EBay is not all spent at the coal face of my abysmal customer service, lack of knowledge about sleeves and failure to type in the correct shoe size. Which is good, otherwise I would be incredibly depressed.
Most of the time I deal with lovely buyers who sound charming, and who behave beautifully, even when I have made an almighty cock up.
The rest of the time I am scurrying about looking at art.
You know it is my new obsession.
There is some stunning art for sale, truly stunning.
And then there is the rest.
You know that thing that inevitably happens when you spend enough time in an art gallery? That thing where someone either of your acquaintance or just in your general environs says: ‘Bloody Nora! Call that bloody art? I could do better than that myself! It’s a mug’s game…etc’
Well EBay art sales are there to prove to you that no matter how much you think you can do better yourself, you generally can’t.
There are some eye wateringly bad examples of home crafted art out there. Here is the Katyboo guide to EBay art.
Outsider Art is a genuine thing. It mostly refers to artists who were perhaps shunned by their peers, or ignored by the art world, or who simply toiled away in silence producing great quantities of art which people are only now discovering. Usually after the artist has died of consumption in a gutter somewhere, unloved and unrecognised. Now everyone says what a tortured genius they were, blah blah.
EBay ‘Outsider Art’ is anything done by anyone, anywhere in any medium. I could get Oscar to wipe his ketchup stained hands on a bit of A4 paper and sell it on EBay as Outsider Art. This is the bar. Don’t buy it unless you love it and can live with it for a very long time is my considered opinion. You stand more chance of winning the lottery than buying a piece of Outsider Art on EBay that will make you rich.
There are the people who say: ‘Call that art! I could do better myself!’ and then take to EBay to prove they can. These are usually the squiggles of biro on a scrunched up piece of A4 lined paper that are listed for £100 and called things like: ‘Tortured feelinz (sic)’. These are the people who hope someone will buy their work to prove them right so they can go down the pub and talk about what a bloody rip off Tracey Emin is because you can sell any old shite as art these days. Funnily enough I have never seen a single piece of art like this actually sell.
There are the people who are selling their children’s art. I am not sure whether this is because they are simply being kind to their children, or because they genuinely think that their child’s rendition of Buzz Lightyear being put through a mincing machine whilst being strafed by a Lancaster bomber is the work of a child prodigy and they are hoping that Jay Jopling is going to snap them up.
Then there is the erotic art. Dear Lord God above. Save me from badly rendered erotic art. It is enough to make your eyes bleed acid. Erotic art is a huge market on EBay in any medium you care to mention. You can get terrible oil paintings, terrible drawings, terrible sculptures. You could fill a small county with all the bad erotica available on EBay. I have seen so many improbable pairs of tits in the last few days I can never look a fried egg in the face again. And the mind boggles as to why anyone would want an eight foot oil painting of a woman with a balding foof the size of your face looming at you over the mantelpiece every morning.
Dogs are another massive market for bad art. You can have terrible oil paintings of sausage dogs that look like they have been stitched up by Victor Frankenstein. You can have Yorkshire Terriers rendered in charcoal that look like someone has just broken some awful news to them. You can have foil etched pictures of German Shepherds with unfeasible legs, gambolling into the distance. You can have groups of chihuahuas sitting forlornly on a wall. Whither kittens in brandy glasses say I? Have they gone out of fashion? Must it always be about the dogs?
Celebrity pictures are rife on EBay. Sketches of Elvis in the jumpsuit years, looking annoyed that someone has done yet another tasteless picture of him to hang over the loo, and which will inevitably end up in a car boot sale in about eighteen months time. Where is the dignity in death Elvis? Or life for that matter?
How many pictures of One Direction would you like? I can wallpaper our entire house in nasty drawings of Harry Styles, as long as I don’t mind that his eyes wander off in different directions.
My favourite celebrity pictures are at the extreme end of the artistic spectrum. I found several bad renderings of Marge Simpson in various erotic poses last night. Why would anyone have erotic fantasies about Marge Simpson? And then want to capture them in the medium of paint, and then think that there are enough other people out there in the world who also have erotic fantasies about Marge Simpson to make them saleable? It is a rum old world.
Of all the things I found last night though, the pinnacle was a picture of Stewie (the evil baby from the Family Guy cartoon), clamped to the head of Adolph Hitler.
There are no words.