This short essay is meant for a thought and discussion. While we are so advanced and smart, aren't we so blinkered to not recognize the talent of a master or the quality of the goods if the performance is extracted from its usual context? Aren't we missing something in this transience of life? Here are three examples of us, people, not picking up the chance to enjoy something really valuable, because it was unusually placed*

*preface by


Irina Oļevska,

LLM., attorney-at-law

Joshua Bell, Banksy, Diesel...Can we recognize the talent in an unexpected context?

Denim brand Diesel has been quite provocative in its advertising campaigns and marketing strategy throughout the decades. It is worth a look at the 90-ies, which were marked by the "world' s most controversial ad campaigns" (see more e.g. ). More recently however, last February, the firm opened a fake Deisel (non-Diesel) shop on Canal Street in New York, the place having a long history of the place of imitations and counterfeit products, where they started to sell unique pieces at reduced prices with counterfeit labels. The clients were captious, incredulous and asking for more discounts. Here is the video by the company itself:

It is said, that the inventor of the Diesel brand Renzo Rosso in his initiative was inspired by the “Better out than in” project of 2013 created in New York by a street artist Banksy ( ). Back then Banksy opened a stall near the Central Park where an older man sold to unaware passers Banksy' s “fake spray art” at ridiculously low prices. Later Banksy revealed that the sold artworks were actually authentic, Banksy signed canvases, sold for only $60 each. Later BBC estimated that these works could be worth about $32,000 each (more on the Banksy' s project here: ).

These several de-linked cases got us thinking - how do we perceive art? or quality of the goods? Are we so addicted to brands, that we do not see any value of the unbranded things? Remember the Joshua Bell experiment in a subway? Then the world most acclaimed classical violinist appeared incognito on a subway platform in Washington and played for the passers-by. He played his heart out for tips for 45 minutes with the violin worth 3.5 million dollars. No one noticed it, except for 7 strangers. No one applauded, except for those few. No one recognized him, except for one person. By comparison, tickets for his concert several days before the experiment were all sold-out, averaged 100$ each (more here: )

And even though the journalist, who reflected this phenomenon received the Pulitzer Prize, this still bears the question: Can we recognize the talent in an unexpected context?


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