Go on, guess. No seriously, guess. How much for this abstract masterpiece — a blue canvas with a white stripe down the middle, titled ‘Onement VI’, by the artist Barnett Newman which sold the other day on behalf of Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen.
I’ll tell you how much: $43.8 million. 43.8 MILLION DOLLARS. More than your whole life. For a painting. For a blue square with a white line down the middle. For what basically looks like a giant ping pong table hanging on a wall.
Maybe I just don’t understand art. Maybe the blue symbolises friendship and love and the white line symbolises racism, and so what the artist is saying is that racism divides friendships and destroys all the love in the world. Yeah, how’s that for an interpretation? Still not worth $48.3 million, you crazy art bastards.
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I suppose for the big time buyers in the art world, it’s more about sending a message than actually putting up and appreciating good works of art. Because if we’re judging by quality then surely this random painting I found by a 5 year old must be somewhere in the $500 million region:
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