Look beyond the obvious to understand an artwork

Sir, Gillian Tett (" The lost art of finance ", March 15) rightly argues that a more creative approach to finance would be beneficial and that art can be a useful means of gaining a fresh perspective. However, her contention that visual artists have thus far ignored the subject is absurd.

Photographer Ashley Gilbertson's series The Great Recession in New York (2008-2010) directly depicted the immediate aftermath of the Lehman Brothers collapse, and the ongoing struggle and resilience of New Yorkers. Justin Richel painted a series of works between 2004 and 2007 that explored the excesses of an overdeveloped consumer economy, and the abuse of the American homeowner by the self-interested political classes - prescient works that proved more accurate about the forthcoming financial deluge than did the overwhelming majority of financial commentators.

A painting need not depict a pile of gold to be about money, but a viewer must often make the effort to look beyond the blatantly obvious in order to understand an artwork. Perhaps instead of suggesting that bankers pick up paintbrushes, Ms Tett could take a closer look at the multitude of artists who are already so effectively addressing financial issues, and encourage her audience to do the same.

V Preston and S Schuster,

Cultural Capital Consultancy,

St Prex, Switzerland


last updated may 2014