Two artists, Alexander Melamid and Vitaly Komar based in New York, decided that the principles of market research could be applied to art. Beginning in 1994, they employed pollsters to survey the whole world in order to determine what people most liked to see in a painting.
In ever country – China, France, Kenya, Iceland, Denmark, Turkey, Russia, America and everywhere else – the public wanted the same painting. And this applied to all groups within nations – whites, blacks, Hispanics, Jews, rich and poor. Without exception people voted overwhelmingly for a pastoral scene with a stretch of water and mountains, with a predominantly blue color scheme.
There were a few slight variations. The Danes wanted a ballet dancer by the lake; the Kenyans preferred a hippo.
The most hated type of painting throughout the world: an abstraction with a predominance of red.
End Notes by Bill Jay
From Lens Work, No. 43 Oct-Nov 2002