Friday, May 4, 2012


Image result for the scream"The Scream" sold for $120,000,000 on Wednesday. Wow. Record setting, extravagant, over the top, outrageous, and perhaps a bit ridiculous. I understand that the art market is this lovely, unregulated free market where boatloads of money are traded for unique art objects, but I think this case is a little more interesting than most. Unique art objects, or one-of-a-kind, right? Originals. That's what makes these material objects so expensive it's the old supply versus demand scenario. Mona Lisa, I'm sure you must have seen her, she's printed on everything from calendars to t-shirts to coffee mugs, BUT... there's only one original, which makes that painting priceless.

In the case of "The Scream" it happens to be one of four existing versions! Mr. Munch made a lithograph of the work as well. Why is this one worth $120,000,000? What happened to the supply versus demand?

There are four existing versions of this work! FOUR! It's just bananas. I don't get it. Just to amuse yourself, go search for things you could buy with $120,000,000. Seriously, do it, and while you're doing that keep in mind that someone just dropped that kind of cash on a f*$king painting. You could purchase a private island, build a mansion, fly to said mansion on a Lear jet, and still have money to purchase a whole collection of well know art from other auctions.

This is the art world. The best part is, no one is really talking about the work itself, everyone is interested in the price tag. People love money. Go read some articles about this sale. You will find a sentence of two describing the image and the rest of the article will be about the money, and previous sales, and the bidding war. I was thinking that maybe instead of this whole spending money on art at auction system, we could change it to more of a grade school/lunch time swap scenario. For instance, "I will trade you my house in the Hamptons, a Mickey Mantle rookie card, first issue of Superman, and this Snickers bar that I found in the glove box of my Lambo for your Picasso, and Dali." Think about how much more fun those transactions would be to read about! If we aren't going to discuss the art then let's make these trades even more exciting to talk about! Think about reading the offer above and then reading about this counter offer, "Sounds good, but you'll have to throw in your recording contract with Bieber, and 10% of your stock in Depends (yes, the adult diaper company)." This method of trading would be 100%, hell let's do this Maury style, 225% more exciting!

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