Search
Ideas | Images Live Here

 

 

Powered by Squarespace
"Like" Facebook status $16 1919 419 Advance Fee Fraud 72 virgins accuracy afterlife Aki Kaurismäki Alberta Alcatraz Alchemist Alchemy algorithm all-knowing Andrew Keeling Andrew Rawlinson apparatchik Arab Spring archive art art criticism art theory Assam Assiniboine River atheism ATLAS auction baby names Battle of Marengo BB shot Ben Gurion betrayal Beverly Rowbotham Bible bicephalic Bing blues Bollingen Bolsheviks Boxing Day Boxing Week Boxing Year brain Buddhism bullshit bureaucrat Cairo California Guitar Trio Canada Carl Matheson Carlos Fuentes centre of being CERN CG Jung Chagas Disease Charles Frederick Gray Charles Hartshorne Cheerios chimpanzee China Christmas Christopher Hitchens church CMS cocking a snook Conrad Black conscience Constancia core organic search creativity criminal code critical realism crowds and power crowdsourcing crucifixion cruelty Danielle Smith David Roberts death degrangement democracy dentist died Drama Centre driftwood Eden Eduard Munch eduskunta Egypt election Elemental Particles elias canetti eon Epistemology era essay essayist existentialism F-35 Facebook fake news fakhir falsehoods filter bubble finland First International Conference on Multiple Partonic Interactions at LHC Franz Kafka Free Press Freedom of Association Friends Friendship Frippertronics fun G.I. Gurdjieff gamma waves gangs drug violence gender equality general strike Gethsemane Global Sunday Globe Mail God Golgotha Google Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew government Guantanamo happiness Harry G Frankfurt Hartshorne Heritage Canada Higgs Boson hit hitting horse diaper Hosni Mubarak hunchback Huxingting Tea House hyper irony ideas immortality Income Tax innocence of muslims Ipsos Reid J.G. Bennett Jane Goodall Institute jean valjean Jesus Christ Jiffy journalism Judas Iscariot juice Justin Trudeau keisaku stick King Crimson Kingston kiss of peace La vie de Boheme Large Hadron Collider Lavengro left-handed leone vivante l'oiel de Gabes love Lucian Freud Machiavelli manger Manitoba Mark Stobbe market Matthieu Ricard maudlin Maxwell's Sorting Demon metaphor Mexico millisecond mindfulness mokhtar belmokhtar monk murder Myanmar Nanosecond narcissistic personality disorder nativity Natural Person neuroscience New York Times newspaper circulation nihilism no loitering objet trouve ontological argument ontology opinion Osama bin Laden ouagadougou P.D. Ouspensky pain painter painting paintings panpsychism Paolo Gabriele Pentonville Peter Higgs Peter Miller phenomenalism philosophy Picosecond Pierce Brosnan Planck Time Unit Plato PMO post-truth Post-Truth.News Prime Ministers Office Prismatic public execution Public Safety pudding palace qatar raccoon recipes Rasputin repeating names Robert Fripp Rodeo roses Saint Nick Samuel Beckett Santa Claus satori Savoy scream search engine optimization Second Law of Thermodynamics security SEO Sigma 5 sirhan sirhan skateboard sorrow sotheby Soundscapes space flight Spinoza Standard Model Physics Statistics Canada Stephen Cave stolen Svedberg Syria T.S. Elliot Tahrir Square television The Coon Hunters Handbook The God Particle The Simpsons The Wine of Silence The World's Happiest Man top secret trial trout Trump Trump.Rodeo Truth in Advertising tyranny University of Manitoba Via Dolorosa Vic Toews victims violence Viva Mi Fama voters wabi-sabi Whole Grains Wildrose William Klassen Winnipeg Wolseley women Wormwood Scrubs writer writing Yoctosecond Zen

 

     

tumblr visit counter
 

Entries in auction (1)

Thursday
May032012

An Appeal to the Government of Qatar

 

Basket Case (11 x14 watercolours on Cold Press paper)

 

The LA Times reports Eduard Munch's iconic 1895 painting The Scream fetched just shy of $120 million last night at a Sotheby's auction in New York. That was $40 million over the expected hammer price and is apparently the highest price for an auctioned artwork in history.

 

To put this in perspective, you could buy at least 120 of my paintings for that kind of money. You also could fund the activities of the National Rifle Association for an entire year or pay off the 2013 debt of the State of Rhode Island. Your choice.

 

Personally, let me express disappointment that so little has been said about the purchaser of The Scream, which I note is executed in pastel and therefore not likely to last very long since it's really just glorified crayon.

 

Most pertinent question

For a painter - or as the French would say peintre - the issue of who paid $120 million seems the most pertinent question. If someone is prepared to spend that much on a painting, I want to know exactly who and where they are so that I can immediately get my work in front of their quite obviously gentle and discerning retinal palette.

 

Who then are they? I'm thinking of one singularly astute New York investment banker who purchased a painting called Northwest Angle from me a couple of years ago. But no, I think not even he, a gentleman greatly esteemed and very high in my eyes, would have the fiscal wherewithal to buy the Munch.

 

So, really, who bought The Scream? After sale reports suggest the government of Qatar might have taken it up for a museum that’s to open there in 2014. Other names that have come up: billionaires Leonard Blavatnik and Paul Allen.

 

State of the art market

And what might this record-setting development say about the state of the art market? In my experience, based on the attempted sale of 40 of my acrylics and watercolours at Studio 317 last November, such sensational auction prices tend to be specific to a select group of artworks and a narrow range of marquee artists, and are not suggestive of broader trends in the market.

 

I am nonetheless a glass-half-full painter, and hopeful. According to Forbes magazine, there have been works fetching even higher prices than The Scream on the private market. Greek shipping magnate George Embiricos supposedly sold his Cezanne painting, Card Players, last year for $250 million. Embiricos died last fall and we therefore cannot shake him down to substantiate this. But no one has stepped forward to claim ownership of the piece, though it’s been reported that the government of Qatar was the buyer.

 

All this has me thinking about security considerations for my inventory of unsold works. I mean paintings are just languishing around in the basement studio. They are not locked up or even in Class 3 air-conditioned archival storage space. They are there. And there are hundreds of them.

 

Charcoal nudes

I took safety precautions in the spring of 2012 when concern arose that some framed works might be damaged in the spring melt if we had seepage. But that did not transpire and of course we were glad for that. Because like the newspapers with which Samuel Beckett's Molloy swathed himself to protect the rear of his trousers against farts, there are hundreds of paintings lining my studio walls, along with dozens of graphite and charcoal nudes on paper, and they all offer excellent insulation value as temperatures plummet around here between October and April.

 

Still, let me tell you, winter survival techniques notwithstanding, security concerns are nonetheless real. My well-loved colleague Edward B. Gordon had the traumatic experience a couple of years ago of having several of his paintings stolen from a Berlin gallery. I don't recall if Edward's works ever were recovered but I do know that little could mitigate his sense of violation at the time.

 

A confession: it has occurred to me that should I be forced to endure similar trauma at the theft of one of my works, that the ensuing pain might be assuaged somewhat by the almost certain knowledge that the value of the remaining inventory would increase, once word got out that my art was worth stealing.

 

I want to say though, here and now, that I'm more concerned about misplacing a work, or having the cat vomit on it, than having artwork pilfered.

 

This is a real issue because more than one serious art collector has inquired about one or another of my works that they have spotted in an online gallery or via the wonders of Google. And it has taken me days of anxious rummaging to find whether I still have the work in question, and after that, to examine it for size, media, condition, and for its overall existential merit before delivering a reply.

 

So should our inbox ping today with a query, say from the Government of Qatar, you should know that we promise to shake dust from your future acquisition as quickly as greased pastel - and undertake to hastily deliver once payment has cleared and the cash is reposing, all warm and snugly, in our account.

 

(Image: Basket Case 14 x 12 watercolours on Cold Press paper)