November 12, 2011

Edgar Martins, Artist or Real Estate Professional?

A while back, we featured this home with WYSIWYG photography that didn’t pretty up a thing.  Remember this place in East San Jose with the really inspired photography (if by inspired I really meant WTF)?


This was the home where most of the photos were of the floor and the bottom third of the walls.  At the time I said that the agent was a misunderstood artist, and the opposite of Edgar Martins.  You were probably imagewondering who Edgar Martins was.  Today, you’re going to find out why this Portuguese-born Macau-raised fine-arts photographer is just like a realtard.

Edgar Martins was commissioned in 2008 for a very high-profile New York Times Magazine photo essay on the physical results of the mortgage meltdown.  There was some resentment from American photographers over this gig being given to a European, but Martins certainly had a gift for the compelling image.

Then someone worked out why they were so intriguing.  His photos weren’t what he claimed they were.

imageMartins has always said that he didn’t do any post-production of his work at all, that there was no digital manipulation. Looking at his work now, it’s screamingly obvious everything was mirrored, cloned, and shopped out the yinyang. For years all the fine arts types believed him until Adam Gurno (unixrat) on MetaFilter called shenanigans, and as a result, the New York Times yanked his photo essay.

Martins’ response was of course his stuff is manipulated, you stupid idiots. That was the whole POINT, and none of you saw it because I told you it wasn’t there, you ignorant fools.

To be honest, he said the above more like this:

This work explores the concept of ‘home’ as an idea and a form, and summons a disquieting conjunction of reality, hyper-reality, fantasy and fiction.

And he justifies lying to his fans, his clients, his curators, and his employers with this PoMo putrescence:

“It is my view that there was a clear misunderstanding concerning the values and rights associated to the creative process which made a renown publication like The New York Times Magazine, commission a fine-artist, such as myself, to depict a very specific view of reality without taking all the necessary measures to ensure that I was aware of its journalistic parameters and limits. On the other hand I did not see these as a valid boundary. . . . Whilst I welcome some of the debate that is taking place, I did not envisage that it would be mostly centered on polarities such as ethical/unethical, right/wrong, real/unreal.”

imageYou see, that’s what selling homes is all about. It’s telling people there’s no downside, there’s no time to lose, there’s nothing that can go wrong as long as you BUY NOW. The TIME to BUY is NOW.

And we should have known from the get-go that they’re ALL lying.  And if we didn’t, then being tricked out of hundreds of thousands of dollars is just part of the context of representational imagery and the insubstantiality of happiness from material things.  Let’s not debate pointless polarities such as true/false, positive/negative, gain/loss, permitted/unpermitted, yours/mine, or signed/forged.

imageI do recommend you look at his “This is Not a House” set of photos on his website, and his photography book of the same title has just been released.  Note there is no more bluster about his images being unprocessed or unaltered.  Now “his interest is in summoning a disquieting conjunction of realism and fiction by ‘cutting into the real’.”

imageThe book description for This is Not a House also says it was a commission for the NYT, but neglects to mention his rather public firing for misrepresenting his artistic process.  As fine art critique of bubble building and bust, it is indeed powerful stuff. Most of it also looks shopped. I can tell by the pixels.

And as realtard speak, it’s obvious fiction stubbornly insisting it’s 100% factual.  Home prices never go down!  Yes it’s affordable!  Buy now or be priced out forever!  The rules of the market don’t apply here!  The TIME to BUY is NOW.

Comments (6) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:00 am

6 Responses to “Edgar Martins, Artist or Real Estate Professional?”

  1. Sam_Adu Says:

    Madhaus: I used to not look forward to your weekend posts but lately they have been incredibly awesome! Thanks so much.

  2. madhaus Says:

    Oh, then you will just LOVE tomorrow. Heh heh.

  3. nomadic Says:

    This was a really cool piece. I think I’ll take tomorrow off though.

  4. wahnny Says:

    Interesting article indeed.

    I had heard some realtor associations have a code of ethics that members must follow, but perhaps it’s only really required once they have a buyer under contract.

  5. Alameda Gold Coast: Pay lots of gold while your agent coasts [] Says:

    […] know what that lonely table in the dining room reminds us of?  Those abandoned real estate as art photos by Edgar Martins.  The bedroom photos are suggestive of his work as well.  Here are the two J mentioned […]

  6. How do we know SF Bay Area Real Estate is in a Bubble? Part 712 [] Says:

    […] These three photos below are from that link as well.  Truly stunning, spooky, and sad, these would make great material for Edgar Martins. […]

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