‘The Scream’ sets record with $120m sale

Discussion in 'Art & Culture' started by Stoniphi, May 3, 2012.

  1. Stoniphi obscurely fossiliferous Valued Senior Member

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  3. Buddha12 Valued Senior Member

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    There are some people who are foolish enough to throw away their money on things like this to keep it locked away somewhere where only they can view it. Very sad people that must acquire things like this instead of letting a museum have it to show so everyone could enjoy it. I wouldn't own someone else's artwork that costs enough to feed a small nation but then again I'm not much into needing to have stuff to prove anything. It is nice to know that there are copies for others to see which probably no one could tell the difference anyway.
     
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  5. Captain Kremmen All aboard, me Hearties! Valued Senior Member

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    I bought it.
    I thought I was bidding $120.
    Aaaaaaaaaaaaargghhhh!
     
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  7. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    Many wealthy people buy art as an investment, not just for its aesthetic or cultural value. A balanced portfolio must be diversified, so that if there is a recession in, say, the auto industry, so their stock loses value, there may be a boom in the auction price of Persian rugs, old books, or famous paintings.

    The wisest investment advice we've ever received was, "Invest in something you like, something you're very interested in. That way you will automatically keep informed and become one of the most knowledgeable people about all aspects of it, including its market value."

    Many people are very interested in art, so for them it's a great investment.
    Not all rich people live on islands surrounded by gun turrets. Many of them hold parties just like we do, and their guests are welcome to view their art collection with a few tough-looking "butlers" discreetly lurking in the wings. And no, their guests are not all rich people too.

    But more importantly, if you ever take a close look at the cards below the paintings in an art museum, you'll see that a great many of their pieces are on loan from wealthy art collectors. These people make a practice of filling their favorite museums with the work of artists they particularly like. Not only will the public actually be able to enjoy it, but critics and journalists will also see it. Articles will appear in local and national publications and perhaps the artist's reputation will be enhanced. In any case the pieces will become better-known and more people will come to see them.

    Meanwhile they still own them and their value is increasing. Museums couldn't possibly afford to buy every piece of art they display!
    A hundred million dollars won't even feed a large city for a week. Besides, most rich people are quite philanthropic and endow their own foundations to support worthy causes. When I was a kid it seemed like every city had a library named after Andrew Carnegie. There's a Rockefeller this and a Rockefeller that almost everywhere.

    Marjorie Merriweather-Post, once the wealthiest woman in America (after inheriting the Postum Cereal company from her father and then marrying and divorcing E. F. Hutton) left the city of Washington DC her ten-acre estate (I can't calculate how much ten acres of land in Washington DC is worth) including her mansion and her art collection, which includes one of the world's largest collections of Faberge eggs.
    They're actually not identical.
     
  8. Stoniphi obscurely fossiliferous Valued Senior Member

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    This constant upward sale price trend in classic art pieces was noticed by someone at Time Magazine way back in the 1970's. They penned an article they called "The Death Throws of Expressionism" in which they examined in great detail the art investment business.

    Drawing from that article (as I recall it

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    ) they divided art investors into "new money" investors and "old money" investors. While new money investors pretty much bought anything that caught their fancy, old money investors were strategic in their art purchases. Several interviews underscored the difference between the 2 sets thinking and motivation.

    New money folks were younger, were spending disposable income, were uneducated in the arts, were unconcerned (to a great extent) about the investment potential of their purchases and tended to buy art on the spur of the moment or because they knew other people who had bought from a particular artist (trendy purchase).

    Old money investors were older chronologically, educated in art and art history, thought long and hard before buying an art piece and always considered the investment potential before purchasing. They also bought what they liked, but restricted that to "old masters". Why? They were asked.

    The response was that recent "art" by "up and coming artists" was of very dubious investment value. Many young artists work in nontraditional media (urine, feces, dead animals, garbage, meat) or in nontraditional ways. Examples are such as a young female NY city artist whose 'art' was going in for repeated surgeries to alter various aspects of her body to match images of classic beauty from old master's paintings (like the Mona Lisa by Da Vinci and the Birth of Venus by Botticelli). She would then take the excised tissues and fat (several 'tummy tucks'), place samples in plastic boxes and sell them as her 'art'. ('new money' buyers bought it)

    Another example is a painting by Joseph Albers that was a huge raw cotton canvas that he tilted and poured gallons of paint onto from each side such that there were several streams of coloured paint running across the canvas. MOMA purchased that piece in the 1960's for $38,000 US, by 1990 it had dry rotted right off the wall, was dead and gone.

    The trend was tracked back to the Expressionists, though I place its beginning at Marcel Duchamp's entry of a very used Russian Army barracks urinal in a major European exhibition of contemporary art in the early 1900's thus founding the Dadaist movement.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marcel_Duchamp

    Dada means "anti - art" and has evolved into the contemporary "Conceptualist" movement (which I do not consider to be "art" either). While conceptualists embrace the 'anti - art' message of Dada, they initially included a philosophic goal of "separating art from money" to somehow "purify" it.

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    shrug: I never did quite understand that goal) After a period of not making "art" and not making "money" at that, they began to look for ways to get money for 'not making' art.

    The bottom line is that they have succeeded in scaring many 'old money' investors right out of the contemporary art market. The Old Masters are all dead and gone. Old master's art then constitutes a limited number of art pieces, many of known bottom value (the previous sale price). Limited number of pieces = limited supply. Combine that with a continued 'old money' investor demand for proven investment grade art and the stage is set for the continued escalation of old masters art auction prices. Limited supply + continued demand = constantly escalating prices for classic traditional artworks.
     
  9. Buddha12 Valued Senior Member

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    I've been under the impression that the wealthy buy real estate , for the most part, to hedge their bets, not paintings for not many people think that a painting is worth much except to another buyer of them.

    Any painting that was originally done was meant to be seen by anyone with any income. It was not painted just for its value to rise and be kept away from the general public by those who believe they are caretakers of some sort. If you'd ask any painter, they will express to you exactly what I say and are animate that anyone can see their work not just the wealthy.

    Lowest GDP per capita

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    http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=...p6yWCQ&usg=AFQjCNE8VY4-tVbVoDgmaFhlJEtNtfDD6g
     
  10. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

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    Is the objective of new art to make one vomit?

    Is one then part of the work or still an observer?
     
  11. Syzygys As a mother, I am telling you Valued Senior Member

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    just a few observations:

    1. Because of general inflation, there will be always new and newer records of higher prices.
    2. I recall the Japanese buying Sunflowers for 80 million in the 80s, that was some record back then. A few years later they sold it with a loss....

    By the way the OP is incorrect:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_most_expensive_paintings

    "This is a list of the highest known prices paid for paintings. The earliest sale on the list (Vase with Fifteen Sunflowers by Vincent van Gogh) is from 1987, and more than tripled the previous record price, set only two years before, introducing a new era in top picture prices. The sale was also significant in that for the first time a "modern" painting (in this case from 1888) became the record holder, as opposed to the old master paintings which had always previously held it. Since that time sales of the most valuable paintings have usually been made at auctions, though that had by no means always been the case before, and the list below still shows some "private sales", including the four most expensive. The current record price was paid for The Card Players by Paul Cézanne, which was sold for more than $250 million in 2011.
     
  12. spidergoat Venued Serial Membership Valued Senior Member

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    Yes, but most collectors buy it and then let a museum display it or loan it out to museums occasionally.
     
  13. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    D-d-d-damn!

    I don't have any general condemnation of art auctions, nor high prices for masterworks, to offer at this time.

    However, I am curious who bought it, because there are some other considerations I inject into this kind of spending.

    Much as I wonder about certain American lobbies and political action groups spending hundreds of millions of dollars on elections: I wonder how many jobs that sum could fund.

    But that's a larger political issue; for now, I'm just impressed by the number: $119m total expenditure.

    D-d-d-damn!
     
  14. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    What do you think happens to the money once it changes hands? That the seller converts it to cash and stashes it in a safe until he dies and his heirs find it? There are a few hoarders and end-of-the-worlders, but few if any of them are rich.

    Whoever receives the money spends it. He buys something from somebody else. Eventually much of that money will be paid out as salaries, either to tradesmen keeping someone's house, car and garden in order, or to workers in a business owned by the recipient of the money.

    Or it could be deposited in a bank account, in which case the Multiplier Effect will create five or ten times more money which some of the bank's other customers will spend.

    Or it could be used to capitalize a business, which will then use the money to buy capital equipment, supplies or raw materials, or to pay employees, contractors, consultants, lawyers and the like for their services. All of whom now have the money and will go off and do a zillion things with it.

    Even if it goes into the stock market or the housing market, somebody somewhere is on the other end of that transaction so the money is still in circulation.

    This is how an economy works. Rather than the now-rich artist giving his money to the Salvation Army to feed the poor (which many rich people do and I doubt that you of all people would regard that as a bad idea), he pumps it into the economy, where it can create the very jobs you want created only many more of them than the money appears able to support because of the endless turnover of the cash.

    The Multiplier Effect works outside of bank accounts; it's just a little more nebulous because there are no exact formulas to calculate its results.
     
  15. Stoniphi obscurely fossiliferous Valued Senior Member

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  16. Captain Kremmen All aboard, me Hearties! Valued Senior Member

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    Surely you aren't denying that it is a great work?
    Hopefully it has been bought by a Museum and not an Oligarch with artistic aspirations. Then the ridiculous price tag can be forgotten, and people can appreciate the art itself.
     
  17. Syzygys As a mother, I am telling you Valued Senior Member

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    I really don't care for the issue that much. As I said, it will be overtaken soon enough, because of general inflation...

    Now the buyer might have bought it as an investment. The idea of art as an investment isn't so bad as long as you don't buy at the high of the market, like the roaring 90s or 2005-2008. In those times everything is overvalued and you pay way more than it is necessary...
     
  18. Stoniphi obscurely fossiliferous Valued Senior Member

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    I completely agree with you on that point. I also think that eventually many contemporary artists work will be perceived as worthy investments as well, but it is going to take a bit of time to clear up exactly who and what. My personal opinion is that all of these items are vastly overvalued at present.

    We indeed live in "interesting times".
     
  19. Syzygys As a mother, I am telling you Valued Senior Member

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    Well, with art and other not necessary items value is a tricky thing. Basicly it boils down to the bigger idiot principle, everybody hopes that there will be a bigger idiot, who will buy it at a higher price. Short of a stock where the company doesn't really make money, but the stockprice is still going through the roof. Unfortunatelly, the music has to stop at one point.

    Now with art, it is the uniqueness of the object that gives its value. Can it be valued objectively? No. How much it is worth? As much as one is willing to pay for it.
     
  20. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

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    I am denying it's a great work. And don't call me 'Shirley'.
     
  21. Syzygys As a mother, I am telling you Valued Senior Member

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    The funny part is that you could buy a poster of this for let's say $20-40 if one loves the painting so much.
    Even if you want a real painting, any starving painter/art student could make you a pretty decent copy for $1-2000, just for aesthetical pleasure. I always thought if I were a millionaire I would still only buy copies, just to make a point. If I want an investment, I would buy gold or real estate...
     
  22. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    Many wealthy people like to keep a high profile in charity and philanthropy, to balance out the bad press their business dealings accrue. One great way to do that is to fill the walls of your local art museum by loaning them pieces they couldn't possibly afford.

    They have to be real.

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    People with a lot of wealth have to diversify as much as possible in order to weather a downturn in any particular market. So in addition to real estate (which isn't exactly a great investment right now, to illustrate my point) and controlling interests in corporations (most of which are dying, as I've pointed out in my posts about the imminent end of the Industrial Era), they buy art, Persian rugs, race horses, and things about which they're very knowledgeable.

    BTW, gold is a hedge, not an investment. You're betting that the government is going to do something stupid so people won't trust the banks. In good times you'll never get rich by owning gold; its value more or less paces inflation.

    BTW #2, I think it's time to retire the word "millionaire." These days a net worth of one million dollars is barely enough to retire on, if you don't want to live in an expensive city like New York or San Francisco. Certainly not enough to become an art collector!
     
  23. Syzygys As a mother, I am telling you Valued Senior Member

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    It can be both. You should see my golden eagle coin collection under my bed and how much it is up since I got them...

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    (since 2009, gold prices doubled)

    Anyhow, with art, it is really the bigger idiot principle. With gold at least you have history on your side, over the centuries its price has increased steadily...

    What if one day people won't give a shit about owning a real original painting?? That's going to be the end of snobery...
     

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