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Billionaire Griffin Pays $500 Million for Two Paintings

The Willem de Kooning and Jackson Pollock. Source: Art Institute of Chicago

“In order to own the greatest art historical objects of our time one has to go above and beyond to obtain them,” said Abigail Asher, a partner at art advisory firm Guggenheim Asher Associates Inc. in New York, who wasn’t involved in the transaction.

This makes me think of a couple of lines from the chapter on Anti-Greed. One: "She picked up a discarded newspaper; she managed, with effort, to understand what was written, but not why it should ever have been written: it all seemed so childishly senseless."

True, it is quite a story. It is not every day a billionaire purchases two such paint-works for half a billion dollars.

The other: "But the child, she thought, knows that he is playing a game; these people pretend to themselves that they are not pretending; they know no other state of existence."

There are some really surreal aspects to this.


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  • 1 month later...


Ok. So market evaluation at this time, per this article, is half a mil, but the FBI is only offering $25K to get it back.

That means each of these would go for $50K, vs. an alleged value in the previous post for $250K ea.

I think I see why that abstract stuff commands the higher price. To see a wall of soup cans, one need only visit a produce store in the more capitalist zones of the world.

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Surrealism, from Etymology:

1927, from French surréalisme (from sur- "beyond" + réalisme "realism"), according to OED coined c. 1917 by Guillaume Apollinaire, taken over by Andre Breton as the name of the movement he launched in 1924 with "Manifeste de Surréalisme." Taken up in English at first in the French form; the Englished version is from 1931.

From wikipedia,

Les mamelles de Tirésias (The Breasts of Tiresias) is an opéra bouffe by Francis Poulenc, in a prologue and two acts based on the play of the same title by Guillaume Apollinaire. ... Although the action of the opera is farcical, it contains a serious message: the need to rediscover and repopulate a country ravaged by war.

The opera, written in 1945 performed in 1947, was based on the play by the same name written in 1903. The plot is described as:

Inspired by the story of the Theban soothsayer Teiresias, the author inverted the myth to produce a provocative interpretation with feminist and pacifist elements. He tells the story of Thérèse, who changes her sex to obtain power among men, with the aim of changing customs, subverting the past, and establishing equality between the sexes.

A point observed and mentioned in an undocumented search of mine, the myth of Tiresias contains one of the earliest allusions to transgender known.

In Greek mythology, Tiresias (/taɪˈriːsiəs/; Greek: Τειρεσίας, Teiresias) was a blind prophet of Apollo in Thebes, famous for clairvoyance and for being transformed into a woman for seven years.

Tiresias was blinded for having observed Athena's nakedness and was ultimately granted clairvoyance, rather than sight, in response to his mother's pleadings with Athena. The question 'Does art imitate life, or does life imitate art?' poses as an arrow in a crossbow aimed at a heart.

The landscape has to be the same for the philosopher or the artist. Only the mode of expression differs. The sculptor sculpts. The painter paints. The writer writes. The philosopher philosophizes. Perhaps it is only the musician that crosses the mode of modalities, at least until the philosopher grasps the means by which the musician does so. Until then, the melody will only be discerned by its creator and those who are more attuned to nuances of the musical arts.

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In the series Law and Order, Season 10, Episode 20 titled "Untitled", focused on a crime where the victim was murdered in such a way as to resemble a particular painting. The victim was a philanthropist in the pop-art culture. The detectives discovered the painting during the course of the investigation.



The trial was, in essence, a variation on a theme of the "Twinkies" defense: "The painting made me do it."

The show included a scene where the artist was interviewed by the detectives, and a later scene where he was called to the stand to provide testimony during the trial. The perpetrator of the crime was portrayed as being disgruntled about his paintings never having been supported by the philanthropic community.

Recursively, one could step back from the Law and Order show, and try viewing it as a piece of art, consider what the artists are portraying and the audience's thoughts might be about the show.

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'GOING, GOING, GONE!' Banksy’s Girl with Balloon artwork SELF-DESTRUCTS in secret shredder frame minutes after £1m auction – and now it’s worth double

In a twist to be expected from street art's most subversive character, the canvas titled Girl With Balloon suddenly passed through a shredder installed in the frame

By Abe Hawken
6th October 2018, 10:05 am
Updated: 6th October 2018, 10:33 pm

Painting as auctioned:


Painting shortly after the gavel struck.



If nothing else, this framed a shred of evidence in a rather concrete form.

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Lol that this was supposedly worth over a million dollars to start and double-lol that it's supposedly worth double that now. *Didn't read article so sorry if I'm missing some sort of context that makes any of this make sense.

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Myth Busting Banksy

This was from the above follow-up article found on Digg/Artnome regarding the recent Sotheby’s and Banksy incident.

We will start by looking at the key engineering questions:

• Could a device that had been in the frame for up to 10 years have the battery life to listen for a remote trigger?
• Was there a functional shredder in the frame or was a pre-shredded work spooled out?
• Was the shredder shown in Banksy’s video the device used to shred the painting?

We will then follow up with questions around the potential for collusion between Sotheby’s and Banksy and what each scenario implies.

• Was Sotheby’s aware of the prank, and perhaps complicit?
• What does it say about Banksy if he colluded with Sotheby’s?
• What does it say about Sotheby’s if they did not know ahead of time?

The fact that a follow-up article was produced suggests something more than meets the eye occurred here. In Mark Scott's words: "There are no accidents in politics." In his experience, investigation into politics often provided clues that led to deeper underlying factors that where intended to remain hidden by their benefactors.

Searching for clarification on a saying, the following was found via Google:

Anti-mimesis is a philosophical position that holds the direct opposite of Aristotelian mimesis. Its most notable proponent is Oscar Wilde, who opined in his 1889 essay The Decay of Lying that, "Life imitates Art far more than Art imitates Life".

The first line is currently verbatim of Wikipedia's "Life imitating art" page. From "Myth Busting" to "Fact sometimes stranger than fiction", even the Aristotelian attribution of fiction needs to be differentiated from its basis in historical rendering at times.

Edited by dream_weaver
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Veering slightly to the side of the topic...

"Life imitating Art" is a concept whose existence illustrates a very sad state of things.  Life is not an imitation of anything.  Art, by definition, is manmade and derivative of his concepts and experiences, which only can originate by virtue of his living.  Of Life and Art clearly Art is derivative and Life foundational.

The sad fact which the statement "Life Imitating Art" represents is a paucity of selfhood and experience.  We've all heard it said as though a truism, and by very intelligent and influential people, sentiments to the effect that "Life is like a play" "Life is poem" Life is wonderful story", it has its ups and down but it has to be that way ... a drama isn't drama without conflict etc.  Joseph Campbell once said that Life is a "wonderful opera", "it hurts" but we should "participate in it".  [The sentiments I here am identifying here exclude the opposite type of pronouncements by insipid and pompous people in the art community that have lost all grasp of reality]

These heartfelt sentiments of Life and Art are proffered as inspiration and I do not doubt the earnestness with which they are stated... but they suffer from the most tragic of observations mixed with a false premise.  The tragic observation is that many people do not engage with life, are not fully alive but instead are going through the motions, in a confused fog of learned helplessness and despair.  Not knowing what life is, they aspire to a representation of life, Art, and the device used, is to imagine themselves in a story, or that the life that they could and should be leading is like a story.  The false premise is that it is possible for life to be derivative of art, and that art is in any sense primary to life.

Art can show what life is and some art can show what life can and ought to be.  In that sense a real Life can draw inspiration from Art, and Art is crucial to man's mental well being, but in the end Life imitates Life, and Art is but a mediator.

As Joseph Campbell once said, "A vital life vitalizes".

Note:  I have made reference to Jo a few times because he was a scholar of Story, of Myth, and its origins and relationship to Man and his Life throughout history and around the world. 

Edited by StrictlyLogical
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  • 1 year later...

Museums Sell Picasso and Warhol, Embrace Diversity to Survive

Sell while the getting is good?

I say that and recollect a line from a book recently acquired from the Free Little Library project, The Seekers: The Story of Man's Continuing Quest to Understand His World by Danial J. Boorstin, to the effect that despite Plato's philosophical disdain for the real world and Aristotle's philosophical embrace of it, Plato still maintains a degree of appeal.

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  • 7 months later...

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