While it's long been evident that Joe Duffy (host of RTE's Liveline) is a ninny, or at best a concerned fool, he really outdid himself yesterday. He brought Ben Dunne on to discuss his new art venture, along with some worthies from the Irish art scene - the fragrant Tara Murphy from the Solomon Gallery, and everyones' favourite socialist republican artist, Bobby Ballagh. Dunne's motor mouth dominated the show and he was allowed use our national broadcaster for a prolonged plug for his new gallery, and while he was at it throw in a few puffs for his gym business. Duffy should of course have nipped this in the bud, but he gave him free rein and a fortune in free advertising.
However, Dunne's venture is doomed to failure, I feel, because the art world is very precious and elitist and neither the better artists nor the discerning punters will want anything to do with the Dunne brand. He may capture the easy on the eye, interior design end of the spectrum (much like the stuff you see at the art fairs in the RDS), but he won't get the top tier of artists.