Don’t Find The Warhols Yet, Anyway

So it looks like we won’t be finding the Warhols just yet. The Kickstarter project deadline came today, and only $265 of the $1400 or so required to print and ship a batch of giant Wanted posters had been pledged. A huge thanks to all the folks who pledged, though; it was and is very encouraging.
This doesn’t mean there won’t be giant Wanted posters; because frankly, they’d look awesome, and seeing them is at least half the point of the project. The project had to tread a fine, meandering line through that poster awesomeness on the one hand, the unofficial, unsanctioned publishing of the LAPD’s poster on the other, and–wait, how many hands do I get?–the obvious intellectual property issues. And of course, underpinning the entire thing is the obvious challenge it poses to our sympathies and sense of value: is it harder or more problematic to feel altruistic and volunteerish towards someone who’s lost 11 of his 80-plus Warhol paintings? Is the world actually a worse place because one of eight sets of these portraits is now missing? Did the answers to these questions change after the insurance company’s reward was rescinded and Weisman started trashtalking the investigators?
My own interests and motives–to realize and propagate these giant Warhol posters in various back rooms and offices of the art world–still depend on this presumption of a community chipping in and keeping an eye out to help find these missing artworks. It’s acting as if the art world is a small subdivision, where everyone joins the search to find the lost puppy. If there’s a more hilariously inapt metaphor for the art world than that, I guess I don’t know what it is.