Art means immortality, but for what price?

22 May

Berlin is a great playground for artists of any kind. Be it filmmakers presenting their new movie (I wrote about last week), or artists who exhibit pictures. Many artists are trying their breakthrough, what Gerhard Richter has already succeeded.

 With his 80 years Gerhard Richter is one of the most famous German artists. At the exhibition at the Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin thousands of visitors could be convinced of his masterpiece. If you look at his work you wonder- how does he do it? And at this moment you can perhaps understand why his pictures are bought for over $ 16 million. Nevertheless the question arises should so much money be invested in a painting?

 Just at the beginning of the month Munch’s painting “The Screen” was sold for a record sum of $ 19.9 million. No question, the picture is great, but who pays so much money for it? As Clyde Haberman says: “…many people, are less about art and sport than about winning or losing big dollars.” On the contrary Felix Salmon says that, when they buy one of these pieces, is a cultural icon, something instantly recognizable. Of course, some others may think, these “have money” people should invest more in education and medicine or buy a similar piece for much less. But on the other hand, if I have money for a steak I do not buy kebab. I want to enjoy the fresh, juicy meat and please my palate.

 When reading Kelly Crows blog I noticed that, Mr. Richter has created more than 3,000 paintings, but nearly 40% of them are in museum collections, which has prevented a market glut. I immediately had to think of my art classes in particular of Keith Haring. Some of his critics also felt that he paints in a superfluity, because a lot of his abstract symbols, human and animal figures were circulated on T-shirts, buttons, posters, billboards, watches, walls and even clothes. But with the announcement of his fatal illness, the prices for his work increased. The people realized that the artist is mortal, but his art peaces are immortal. Perhaps these “money have” people want to buy immortality.

I personally think no money in the world can buy art, so that is why it should be accessible to everyone!

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2 Responses to “Art means immortality, but for what price?”

  1. Nicole May 31, 2012 at 1:42 pm #

    You’ve got a nice post there,Angie! You are very clever in chosing a topic that is extremely up-to-date and also connected to Berlin. Your post got me when I read the name “Munch” and “The scream”. As “The Scream” is my most favourite painting I went to a Munch exhibition in Bremen.in January. Since I saw this painting for the first time, I always wanted to posses it. I always told myself: “If it might happen that you become extremely rich, you have to buy this painting and put it in a special room with a couch in front of it.” I wouldn’t buy it because it is a nice financial investment, but because I love the image and the fact that it is unique. Therefore, I really like the different points of view you collected about this topic and the point of art being “immortal” impresses me a lot.
    Moreover, I appreciate your own opinion at the end, as it got me thinking about my own thoughts about buying a painting.
    Well done!

  2. juleswilma June 3, 2012 at 7:11 pm #

    Hi Angie,
    I honestly really enjoyed reading your post because I think art is a topic which doesn’t appear very often on our blog websites. I have to admit that I’m not a big fan of arts and paintings but your post really got me into it. It is short but very concise. I like how you turned a sale of a painting into an economical and sociological problem and that you cited other people to support you findings. What made it very easy for me to understand you point was the metaphor with the steak and the kebab, that was just great.
    However the centered arrangement of you text is quite hard to read in my opinion so maybe next time you should change that. And I really hope that you are going more into detail with that topic during your next posts!

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