An Object of Beauty by Steve Martin


Steve Martin is best known for his work in films. Starting with stand-up comedy, he has acted, written screenplays, written for theatre, written novels and more recently recorded Grammy award winning music, playing the banjo.

In his spare time he collects art.

An Object of Beauty combines one of his many “jobs” (novelist) with his interest in art: following the progress of a young woman, Lacey Yeager, as she develops a career in the world of art sales, using whatever means she can to succeed.

Through Yeager’s journey Martin takes us behind the scenes of the art world, through auction houses and galleries and art work of various eras. He mingles real art and artists with those he has created for the novel. One of the interesting aspects of the book is the inclusion of small colour reproductions of art by some of the real artists that are mentioned.

Personally I enjoyed the “insiders” view of art, but I found the overabundance of sex scenes and sexual references possibly revealed too much of another of the author’s obsessions.