Wednesday, May 15, 2013

What's Happened to the art of Art? 1953 Painting Goes for $43.8 Million

The above painting is by Barnett Newman. This major and complex work of art was completed in 1953 and is entitled Onement VI. Hard to understand how the artist came up with such a creative title.

Sotheby's outdid itself on Tuesday. A packed and hushed audience watched while Onement VI was auctioned off for US$43.8 million. There was a faint smattering of applause. The global head of Sotheby's contemporary art had this to say about those who bid for this inspiring piece. "People are very educated; they know what is what."

It's difficult to be reverent about art these days. Not particularly difficult to produce a forgery, mind you. One thing this proves: people who make it in the art world don't necessarily have any talent at all, but they do have sass. And entitlement.

The real prize, though, has to go to Sotheby's, who pocketed a neat $5.6 million for pulling that stunt off. Ah, the good life.