Speaking Of Art & Commerce

As reported in the International Herald Tribune, this canvas, titled White Center (Yellow, Pink and Lavender on Rose), executed by Mark Rothko in 1950 was just auctioned for $72.84 Million.

The canvas, measuring 81 inches by 55.5 inches was sold by Sotheby’s on behalf of its former owner, David Rockefeller.  Rockefeller purchased it for less then $10,00 in 1960.  Mr. Rockefellar  obviously enjoys a lot of appreciation, both from an investment perspective and an artistic perspective.  The bidding for the painting was won by an anonymous bearded man, bidding from a “sky box” in Sotheby’s auction room.

In specific terms the cost of this artwork for the new owner comes to $16,193.97 per square inch of painted surface.  We certainly hope someone enjoys savoring this painting, if they ever grow tired of it, they are going to have one hell of a bad case of buyer’s remorse.

For the rest of us who might want to enjoy this artistic work in our own homes, we can purchase a serigraph (silk screen) version that is 47 inches by 35 inches, matted and framed, no less, for the reasonable price of $326.99 via the internet.  That works out to just under 20 cents a square inch.  Granted some of those square inches are the matte and frame, but still, a bargain in our eyes, and no chance of buyer’s remorse, afterall, we could always take it off the wall and convert it to a cocktail tray.

Here is the painting on the block, with those very clever Sotheby’s folks, and the suck… art lovers paying close attention.

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5 Responses to Speaking Of Art & Commerce

  1. ms. place says:

    Oh, wonderful! Another dead artists makes millions for a client, while he (though somewhat successful before he committed suicide) will not earn a penny for his estate.

    What is wrong with this picture? Why does the 75 year royalty fee rule apply to books and novels and songs, but not paintings?

    Having said that, Laura Bennett from Project Runway has a Mark Rothko hanging in her loft. Her children painted it for her. Viewers mistook it for the real thing. Hah!

  2. Stanley says:

    I may have mentioned the story to you of once when I was in London and I met an Aussie guy who staying at the same B&B as I was. We went to the (I think it was) the Tate and we were looking at their Rothko exhibit. I admit I was making fun of his “paintings” in a very American way saying something to the effect that a two year old with a spay gun could do something better in 5 minutes.

    I had my buddy laughing pretty hard. Suddenly one of these two British girls who came in while we were yukking it up tells me “You know, he committed suicide” and that’s when I replied “Well take one look at his art work and you know that was going to be his fate”. She started yelling at me about what a cretin I was and what a great artist Rothko was.

    We exited laughing, with her still yelling at me. I have been a little phobic about art museums ever since. Well, not really…but English girls who yell suddenly in public can give me a start. ;-D

  3. lynette says:

    it’s art if you say it is. i did something similar on the garage floor by spray-painting lawn furniture without putting down a dropcloth. should i jackhammer it out and cart it to nyc?

  4. Big Fella says:

    Oh, absolutely, Lynette, call it an “installation” and you will have the art dealers lapping at your toes for the chance to show it. I, myself, am going to take a photograph of the random, dirt, grass clippings, animal poop and pepples in my backyard, I am certain that I see the Virgin Mary’s image in all the muck. I’m just not sure if I will publish it though, I think the homeowners association would not be too pleased if my backyard became a shrine.

  5. Stanley says:

    What, you don’t believe in Lord Sod? Holy compost!

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