Friday, October 02, 2009
The story of the elephant sculpture
Once upon a time there was a sculptor who made an elephant sculpture. It took him years to make, and the effort of many helpers, because his elephant sculpture was huge, and of exquisite craftsmanship. Every single wrinkle in the elephants skin was sculpted to the finest detail, and all the dimensions were so realistic that the sculpture was almost life-like. Once he had finished his sculpture, he proceeded to sell it. And because the sculpture was so well done, it achieved a high price at an art auction, and sold for 11 million.
The other sculptors saw that, and thought that they could earn such big money too. Obviously the public wanted elephant statues, so they all started making elephant statues. Only they didn't have the patience of the original sculptor, and wanted to get rich too. So their elephants were much smaller, of inferior craftsmanship, and not life-like at all. Some were rather roughly hewn, others decorated with gaudy stones to distract from the lesser quality. But when these inferiors elephant statue copies were put up for auction, they didn't sell all that well. Some didn't sell at all, so bad were they. Some attracted initial interest before the auction, but when the buyers saw the inferior quality, they only bid 300,000 for it, and the other sculptors were much disappointed. "Oh!", they cried, "the original sculptor was lucky that he made his elephant statue just when the market wanted one. Sculpting is dead, nobody will ever get more than 1 million for his sculpture."
Meanwhile the original sculptor was back in his studio, making a sculpture of a tiger. A huge sculpture, and of exquisite craftsmanship. Every single hair of the tiger's fur was sculpted to the finest detail, and all the dimensions were so realistic that the sculpture was almost life-like. I am sure that once he is ready and puts it on the market, he will get more than 1 million for his new sculpture. You see, the public didn't yearn for an elephant sculpture at all, they just appreciated the size and great workmanship. And all the imitators would have better spent more attention to detail than just copy the basic shape of the elephant sculpture.