UK Artist Accidentally Turns Avengers #1 Into Papier-Mâché

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UK Artist Accidentally Turns Avengers #1 Into Papier-Mâché

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Rare comics found in garbage and used as art could have been worth as much as £20,000.

Artist Andrew Vickers has managed to make the most expensive papier-mâché known to man, by accident. The sculptor found a ton of comics thrown away in a skip, thought that they'd make a great addition to his next piece Paperboy, and put his heart, soul, and - unbeknownst to him - about £20,000 (approximately $30,000) worth of rare comics into the piece. Among the fallen was a copy of Avengers #1, which has been known to go for as much as $250,000 in mint condition at auction; even in not-so-great shape, it still sells for tens of thousands. Of course, not-so-great kind of assumes you haven't coated it in glue and mulched it into a sculpture.

The loss was discovered by Steve Eyre, who owns a comic book shop. He spotted the Avengers #1 cover on Paperboy's inside leg. He owns a copy of that comic, worth over £10,000, and once he saw it in Paperboy he started looking for other tell-tale signs. He found the remains of six rare comics. "It would have been cheaper for Andrew to make this out of Italian marble," said Eyre, "because the raw materials that have gone in to it I could have sold for a lot more than he is going to sell this statue for."

Vickers, who doesn't care about money, is amused by the whole thing. He had no idea the stuff he found thrown out in the street was actually worth real money. "I really love the idea of me creating something out of such expensive things that's worth less," he said. "I think it's brilliant."

Source: Digital Spy

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Karloff:
"I really love the idea of me creating something out of such expensive things that's worth less," he said. "I think it's brilliant."

That suurrrrrrrrrrrrrrre is, Tim.

I like how he called his art worthless. I like this guy.

I love it. The attitude of the artist is spot on as well.

Any images of this 'Paperboy' piece knocking around anywhere?

When people do stuff like this, I just think, What a complete idiot. All you had to do was spend 5 seconds google searching before trashing something you had no idea what it was. And you'd have been richly rewarded for it. But no.

Idiot.

Eri:
When people do stuff like this, I just think, What a complete idiot. All you had to do was spend 5 seconds google searching before trashing something you had no idea what it was. And you'd have been richly rewarded for it. But no.

Idiot.

Sorta would've thought if people are throwing them all away, they aren't going to be worth much.

Now, the person doing the throwing away, OTOH...

Bull fucking shit,

Karloff:
"I really love the idea of me creating something out of such expensive things that's worth less," he said. "I think it's brilliant."

If he could rewind time he would, in heart beat!

The only reason he is saying this, is 'cos it's much better than ...

If you're an unheard of artist, I would follow the stereotype and say that you're broke ... so when you find out that you just lost out on the chance at £20,000 you say "I think it's brilliant"? Fuck off, I think even Bill gates would say "that kinda sucks".

Karloff:
"I really love the idea of me creating something out of such expensive things that's worth less," he said. "I think it's brilliant."

There's nothing "brilliant" about the idea. There's no valuable statement he was making with the concept, it was all an accident, and to be "amused" by the idea of turning such valuable and rare material into paper mache is... Guys, I don't like this guy.

thaluikhain:

Eri:
When people do stuff like this, I just think, What a complete idiot. All you had to do was spend 5 seconds google searching before trashing something you had no idea what it was. And you'd have been richly rewarded for it. But no.

Idiot.

Sorta would've thought if people are throwing them all away, they aren't going to be worth much.

Now, the person doing the throwing away, OTOH...

my thoughts exactly he found them in a skip and he recycled them. if he hadnt of then they probably would of gone to the nearest gargbage dump

lacktheknack:

Karloff:
"I really love the idea of me creating something out of such expensive things that's worth less," he said. "I think it's brilliant."

There's nothing "brilliant" about the idea. There's no valuable statement he was making with the concept, it was all an accident, and to be "amused" by the idea of turning such valuable and rare material into paper mache is... Guys, I don't like this guy.

You and me both. He destroyed rare art to create a paper mache mannequin

He had no idea the stuff he found thrown out in the street was actually worth real money. "I really love the idea of me creating something out of such expensive things that's worth less," he said. "I think it's brilliant."

Artists man, they are so weird. I bet he'd not be saying the same thing if he accidentally used some lost work of Goya, or say a Van Gogh or two, but just because it's comic books it's okay to destroy a rare work of art, Brilliant even!

Yup, destroying a rare piece of art that is worth tens of thousands to create an ugly paper-mache doll worth......what? "Brilliant" indeed. As an artist I find this guy's attitude offensive.

It was never about money, when those comics were first printed, do you think anyone knew then what people call out this artist for apparently not realising now? The money was just a means to an end for them in order to create something that is as valued as it has become. Bravo. This here is why paper money can have so much more value in the first place.

squid5580:

lacktheknack:

Karloff:
"I really love the idea of me creating something out of such expensive things that's worth less," he said. "I think it's brilliant."

There's nothing "brilliant" about the idea. There's no valuable statement he was making with the concept, it was all an accident, and to be "amused" by the idea of turning such valuable and rare material into paper mache is... Guys, I don't like this guy.

You and me both. He destroyed rare art to create a paper mache mannequin

Avengers 1 - rare, yes. Art? Hmm. I don't think it's a particularly awe-inspiring artwork, is it? Some fairly routine Kirby stuff and a lame non-story - and it's not like the art's even been destroyed. I just looked it up right now and you can download it any time you like. It's the rarity and historical importance of the physical item that makes it valuable, not the artistic merit.

rasta111:
It was never about money, when those comics were first printed, do you think anyone knew then what people call out this artist for apparently not realising now? The money was just a means to an end for them in order to create something that is as valued as it has become. Bravo. This here is why paper money can have so much more value in the first place.

This argument is meaningless. The value of art at its creation is irrelevant to its current value. A lot of the greatest pieces of art in history were made without money in mind, this doesn't diminish their current value. Van Gogh's last self-portrait was made as a birthday present for his mother, if it was destroyed to make an awful piece of art unintentionally, nobody would think it "brilliant".

Wait...

...

Hang on.

HANG THE FUCK ON.

You're telling me that that comic, Avengers #1, is worth $10,000+.

...

I used to own a copy when I was a kid. Got it with a bunch of others in a box of hand-me-down toys. Wasn't in mint condition or anything, but it was in one piece. Got thrown out years ago.

Unless it was a reprint or something. Fuck me, I hope it was a reprint.

The only person on the planet who doesn't know what the Avengers are.
Now THAT's news!

JamesBr:

rasta111:
It was never about money, when those comics were first printed, do you think anyone knew then what people call out this artist for apparently not realising now? The money was just a means to an end for them in order to create something that is as valued as it has become. Bravo. This here is why paper money can have so much more value in the first place.

This argument is meaningless. The value of art at its creation is irrelevant to its current value. A lot of the greatest pieces of art in history were made without money in mind, this doesn't diminish their current value. Van Gogh's last self-portrait was made as a birthday present for his mother, if it was destroyed to make an awful piece of art unintentionally, nobody would think it "brilliant".

Yeah, I still disagree with this. A comic is a printed work, not an original painting. If I destroyed a Van Gogh, it would be gone forever; even if it had been scanned to a high-res digital copy, the original brushwork would be lost. But destroying a printed item is not the same thing. I'd even argue that if every copy of the comic was gone, a high-res digital copy would be essentially the same as having the original. And hey, if Marvel kept hold of any of the original plates, they could run off a few more copies for luck.

I feel the same about books. Destroy a £100,000 first edition of Ulysses for all I care. It's the words that matter, not the pages.

Haha, that's funny. I feel bad for the artist for accidentally losing $20000, but atleast he thought it was pretty funny too.

lacktheknack:

If you're an unheard of artist, I would follow the stereotype and say that you're broke ... so when you find out that you just lost out on the chance at £20,000 you say "I think it's brilliant"? Fuck off, I think even Bill gates would say "that kinda sucks".

Well on the flipside at least in nerd - news he won't be that unheard of anymore. Granted comic book nerds are probably not his main customer base .

As an artist myself I am kind of surprised that people are going around calling this guy an idiot.

First off, who outside the comic book fanbase would even know those are rare comic books?
It's clear he was completely oblivious to this.
Why should he care to Google the comic he found in the skip? As far as he is concerned, he found just the right amount of paper to do his project.
And he used it.
Had that comic book store owner not of taken the time to look at the mache nobody would ever know that it was made of ultra rare comic books.
And even if he DIDN'T find those comics, it's clear that either way those were going to the dump.

Of course he would be amused by such a thing.
It's not every day the material you thought of junk was actually thousands of dollars worth of comics.
There is nothing to do BUT get amused. No sense in getting angry over something that's already happened.

Christ.

Zhukov:
Got thrown out years ago.

Imagine how funny it would be if that artist actually used your comic in that sculpture, eh? Especially since it would have needed to travel all the way to the UK for it to happen.

synobal:

He had no idea the stuff he found thrown out in the street was actually worth real money. "I really love the idea of me creating something out of such expensive things that's worth less," he said. "I think it's brilliant."

Artists man, they are so weird. I bet he'd not be saying the same thing if he accidentally used some lost work of Goya, or say a Van Gogh or two, but just because it's comic books it's okay to destroy a rare work of art, Brilliant even!

No.
It's because he was completely unaware of the fact that those comics are so rare.
It has nothing to do with him not seeing comics as a valuable art.
Especially seeing as how he found them on the way to the dump no less.

You are assuming everyone knows everything about comics therefore when something like this happens it's CLEARLY because he has no respect for the medium at hand.

Flatfrog:

JamesBr:

rasta111:
It was never about money, when those comics were first printed, do you think anyone knew then what people call out this artist for apparently not realising now? The money was just a means to an end for them in order to create something that is as valued as it has become. Bravo. This here is why paper money can have so much more value in the first place.

This argument is meaningless. The value of art at its creation is irrelevant to its current value. A lot of the greatest pieces of art in history were made without money in mind, this doesn't diminish their current value. Van Gogh's last self-portrait was made as a birthday present for his mother, if it was destroyed to make an awful piece of art unintentionally, nobody would think it "brilliant".

Yeah, I still disagree with this. A comic is a printed work, not an original painting. If I destroyed a Van Gogh, it would be gone forever; even if it had been scanned to a high-res digital copy, the original brushwork would be lost. But destroying a printed item is not the same thing. I'd even argue that if every copy of the comic was gone, a high-res digital copy would be essentially the same as having the original. And hey, if Marvel kept hold of any of the original plates, they could run off a few more copies for luck.

I feel the same about books. Destroy a £100,000 first edition of Ulysses for all I care. It's the words that matter, not the pages.

A valid perspective and a difference of opinion I guess. Most art can be duplicated perfectly by high-resolution scan, though a painting was probably a bad example given the physical texture of the brush. How about a drawing which is perfectly flat? How about a sculpture? Given enough time we'll be able to replicate any object perfectly through 3D printing and other methods. If you had the ability to perfectly replicate the David, would you smash it so you could use the marble to make a vase? The point I'm getting at is that original work has a value all its own, even printed material. Comics aren't made the same way anymore, even if you reprinted the story you would keep the story but lose the paper, ink and binding methods from the 60's. As stated, it's a matter of opinion, but we're not talking about destroying a poster here, we're talking about an original printing of a 50 year old comic that is becoming harder and harder to find as copies are lost and destroyed. Printing is not exactly new, whether it was 50 years ago or 500 years ago (thank you block printing), the methods still have historical value.

Flatfrog:

squid5580:

lacktheknack:

There's nothing "brilliant" about the idea. There's no valuable statement he was making with the concept, it was all an accident, and to be "amused" by the idea of turning such valuable and rare material into paper mache is... Guys, I don't like this guy.

You and me both. He destroyed rare art to create a paper mache mannequin

Avengers 1 - rare, yes. Art? Hmm. I don't think it's a particularly awe-inspiring artwork, is it? Some fairly routine Kirby stuff and a lame non-story - and it's not like the art's even been destroyed. I just looked it up right now and you can download it any time you like. It's the rarity and historical importance of the physical item that makes it valuable, not the artistic merit.

Flatfrog:

squid5580:

lacktheknack:

There's nothing "brilliant" about the idea. There's no valuable statement he was making with the concept, it was all an accident, and to be "amused" by the idea of turning such valuable and rare material into paper mache is... Guys, I don't like this guy.

You and me both. He destroyed rare art to create a paper mache mannequin

Avengers 1 - rare, yes. Art? Hmm. I don't think it's a particularly awe-inspiring artwork, is it? Some fairly routine Kirby stuff and a lame non-story - and it's not like the art's even been destroyed. I just looked it up right now and you can download it any time you like. It's the rarity and historical importance of the physical item that makes it valuable, not the artistic merit.

That is like saying "bah toss the Mona Lisa into the fire. We can just print up another it's online." And TBH it isn't exactly awe inspiring either IMHO. I mean it is just a painting of a woman. But to take a culturally historic piece of art and shred it like that then call it "brilliant" it is a pretty shitty thing to do.

I like how they fail to consider the possibility of one of the many (and much more common) virtually worthless reprints having been used.

JamesBr:
The point I'm getting at is that original work has a value all its own, even printed material. Comics aren't made the same way anymore, even if you reprinted the story you would keep the story but lose the paper, ink and binding methods from the 60's. As stated, it's a matter of opinion, but we're not talking about destroying a poster here, we're talking about an original printing of a 50 year old comic that is becoming harder and harder to find as copies are lost and destroyed. Printing is not exactly new, whether it was 50 years ago or 500 years ago (thank you block printing), the methods still have historical value.

Fair point, but is this *individual* comic particularly well printed or bound? Is it even a particularly great work of art in the medium? Or is it just something which has gained value as a result of later factors which have nothing to do with its own merits?

Don't get me wrong - I do understand the appeal of owning genuine things with historical importance. I understand people who collect old artefacts or want Andy Murray's signature. But that doesn't make it exactly rational. And if I destroyed, say, a rare stamp which then turned out to be worth thousands of pounds, or a baseball signed by Babe Ruth, I'd probably have the same 'meh' reaction as this artist.

Flatfrog:
Fair point, but is this *individual* comic particularly well printed or bound? Is it even a particularly great work of art in the medium? Or is it just something which has gained value as a result of later factors which have nothing to do with its own merits?

Don't get me wrong - I do understand the appeal of owning genuine things with historical importance. I understand people who collect old artefacts or want Andy Murray's signature. But that doesn't make it exactly rational. And if I destroyed, say, a rare stamp which then turned out to be worth thousands of pounds, or a baseball signed by Babe Ruth, I'd probably have the same 'meh' reaction as this artist.

"Collector value" is rather subjective, I'll admit. I guess I take umbrage at the artists attitude. His response wasn't just "meh", as you say, but "brilliant!" If he didn't care one way or the other, it would bother me less and just be a case of "whoops! my bad!", but this makes it seems like its a positive. Which it isn't. It can be meaningless (as you say) or a tragedy (as I say), but it's sure not positive (as he implies).

JamesBr:

Flatfrog:

JamesBr:

This argument is meaningless. The value of art at its creation is irrelevant to its current value. A lot of the greatest pieces of art in history were made without money in mind, this doesn't diminish their current value. Van Gogh's last self-portrait was made as a birthday present for his mother, if it was destroyed to make an awful piece of art unintentionally, nobody would think it "brilliant".

Yeah, I still disagree with this. A comic is a printed work, not an original painting. If I destroyed a Van Gogh, it would be gone forever; even if it had been scanned to a high-res digital copy, the original brushwork would be lost. But destroying a printed item is not the same thing. I'd even argue that if every copy of the comic was gone, a high-res digital copy would be essentially the same as having the original. And hey, if Marvel kept hold of any of the original plates, they could run off a few more copies for luck.

I feel the same about books. Destroy a £100,000 first edition of Ulysses for all I care. It's the words that matter, not the pages.

A valid perspective and a difference of opinion I guess. Most art can be duplicated perfectly by high-resolution scan, though a painting was probably a bad example given the physical texture of the brush. How about a drawing which is perfectly flat? How about a sculpture? Given enough time we'll be able to replicate any object perfectly through 3D printing and other methods. If you had the ability to perfectly replicate the David, would you smash it so you could use the marble to make a vase? The point I'm getting at is that original work has a value all its own, even printed material. Comics aren't made the same way anymore, even if you reprinted the story you would keep the story but lose the paper, ink and binding methods from the 60's. As stated, it's a matter of opinion, but we're not talking about destroying a poster here, we're talking about an original printing of a 50 year old comic that is becoming harder and harder to find as copies are lost and destroyed. Printing is not exactly new, whether it was 50 years ago or 500 years ago (thank you block printing), the methods still have historical value.

One more question then quickly... If said artist had realised these comics were so valuable and sold them at their current value; What would be the value of the money gained vs the value of his own artwork for him?

I think while he could have used the money for better projects, their overall meaning and value would likely be stripped, if it were me anyway I wouldn't even bother for a while having made so much off something I found in a dumpster... I'd likely go get very high and fast... I fail to see the improvement however.

All great art has a message. It's about more than brush strokes. Without that brush strokes are meaningless. Would Van Gogh be so famous if his art hadn't spoken to the world about the man he was? More simply than how talented he was.

Paper-mâché is considered art?

Isn't that what children do when they are four and you have a bunch of old news papers laying around? And that is considered 'art' as opposed to a comic that started one of the best known Super Hero groups in the comic world?

yea, fuck this guy, I hope someone takes his car and turns it into a unicycle if he thinks this is brilliant.

On another note, Who knew that making finger paintings and paper mâché made you an 'artist', I would like to see some real artists impressions of "lol, I make statues with paper and glue, the same thing any child with literally half a brain could do, ART AM SYMBOLS!"

If I was him I would be kicking myself over it but in saying so just how damaged where the comics in the skip? In saying so I like comicbook stuff so find those in the skip would of been a rare find for me.

rasta111:

One more question then quickly... If said artist had realised these comics were so valuable and sold them at their current value; What would be the value of the money gained vs the value of his own artwork for him?

I think while he could have used the money for better projects, their overall meaning and value would likely be stripped, if it were me anyway I wouldn't even bother for a while having made so much off something I found in a dumpster... I'd likely go get very high and fast... I fail to see the improvement however.

All great art has a message. It's about more than brush strokes. Without that brush strokes are meaningless. Would Van Gogh be so famous if his art hadn't spoken to the world about the man he was? More simply than how talented he was.

But he didn't realize what he had destroyed until after his work was created, hell, it looks like he wasn't even paying attention to the comics he was using, his criteria was "vintage comics". If he had sold it instead, he could have replaced it with something worthless from the same era, his art would be unaffected and he would be 10-20 grand richer. He didn't use that particular issue to make a statement, he used it because he found it in the trash and it was convenient.

And I don't have anything against his using the issue, he found it in the trash he can do what he wants with it. But to call it "brilliant" after the fact is hard to swallow.

Zhukov:
Wait...

HANG THE FUCK ON.

Unless it was a reprint or something. Fuck me, I hope it was a reprint.

Everyone else in the thread:
"This guys DESTROYED art OMG-FU-N0000B-LOLZOO000RZZ!!"
or
"This is pretty funny"

and then Zhukov hits himself in his confusion xD

On Topic:

Not sure what to make of this.
On one hand, yes he did "destroy" and old, rare thing of the past which was worth a lot of money.
BUT, it was a comic book.

The thing is, for some this is like a relic of the past, for me it was a piece of drawn on paper.
I guess my reaction would be the same as most here if someone got Sami Hyypiäs first Liverpool shirt signed and used it as a piece of cloth to re-oil his car or something. I'd go bananas while some would look at me like a crazy fool.

EDIT:
I also find it interesting how people in this thread go around saying that his paper mache thing is not art but the paper drawing it was made from is one of the greatest pieces of art ever.
People here are also complaining how his work can't be called art while the very same people are trying to make games an art form which is frowned upon or ignored by most.
The irony! Being a minority in one form and still not understanding how other minorities think.

He's an idiot for one reason, and one reason only, and that's completely missing the opportunity to spin this right. Don't make it look like you still consider your artwork crap - make this look intended and you might actually sell your product for a decent price.

lacktheknack:

Karloff:
"I really love the idea of me creating something out of such expensive things that's worth less," he said. "I think it's brilliant."

There's nothing "brilliant" about the idea. There's no valuable statement he was making with the concept, it was all an accident, and to be "amused" by the idea of turning such valuable and rare material into paper mache is... Guys, I don't like this guy.

Well, when it's already been done and there's no undoing it, you can either be amused or you can go shoot yourself for doing something very, very stupid.

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