Friday, May 11, 2012

Could you do this?

Think how many people FORTY FIVE MILLION DOLLARS could feed.
Instead, someone paid that huge amount of money for this Lichtenstein, part of Sotheby's auction of postwar and contemporary art, which brought in $267 million.  I love contemporary art; I'd love to have The Sleeping Girl, but I couldn't hang it on a wall (or be a Sleeping Woman) knowing I could have fed a LOT of people with FORTY FIVE MILLION DOLLARS.   That's a LOT of mac'n cheese.



Rita said...

"This car. Goeth would have bought this car. Why did I keep the car? Ten people right there. Ten people. Ten more people. "

Ducky's here said...

Excess capital has to go somewhere. So you get asset bubbles of one kind or another.

A Munch went for 120 million recently.
Rothko recorded nearly 90 million.

Kapital commodifies everything.

Now I can understand spending that kind of money for a Rothko bit Lichtenstein?

sue hanes said...

Z - You are so right. It's kinda like the overkill on the Lottery.
Why does one person need to win $218M.

So much good could be done in this world with that money - and why not limit the Lottery to one or two million.

Silverfiddle said...

Could you imagine being so rich that you could throw down that much cash for a cartoon?

Brooke said...

Well, people can do with their money whatever they want, but I agree with you. I wouldn't have been quite so frivolous with it, knowing I could have put it to better use.

Sam Huntington said...

How interesting. $45 million was more than anticipated. According to Museum Magazine, the previous owners were Bernice and Phil Gersh, who refused to share this painting with the public since acquiring it 45 years ago. And don’t you find it amazing that liberals have no hesitance spending so much money on “art,” ignoring their “social conscience,” —art they refuse to share, while at the same time condemning the Koch brothers who actually do feed people —by hiring them. Damned hypocrites!

Lisa said...

This is why rich elites advocate the government help the poor by passing the bill on to the middle class like the rich Hollywood elites pretending to "care" makes them feel less guilty because in reality it isn't going to cost them anything until the democrats expand poverty and have no one elses pocket to pick like the rich will be fleeing France when the new Marxist takes 75% of their earnings.

Ducky's here said...

I'm curious that Sam assumes that art buyers are necessarily liberal.

z, why don't you invite him out for a pleasant day at the Getty?

Ducky's here said...

... oh, I just looked at the Getty site, z.

They are sowing the exhibition of Aphrodite in Greek and Roman art that was organized by the Boston MFA.

Very informative and surprising. You should take it in, really quite good.

Ducky's here said...

"William Koch’s other interest is in art collecting. He owns a diverse collection of paintings and sculptures that include works by such famous artist as Monet, Renoir, Cezanne, Modigliani, Picasso Homer, Wood, and others."


Amazing what a simple Internet search comes up with, Sam.

Got any guesses what a Cezanne fetches if it come on the market?

cube said...

I don't care how people spend their money. If they want to blow it on art that I could draw, I say go for it. I'm much more frugal with MY money.

Bob said...

That particular $45 Million doesn't bother me. It was private money. Things like this go on all the time.

However, Z, you did get my attention with the idea that $45 Million will buy a LOT of mac & cheese. Yes, it will. That would feed a lot of kids, 17 million of whom don't get enough food according to the FDA.

Now, visualize the potential buying power of $852,000,000,000.00! How many people could you feed with that much money?

That is the amount of money Barack Obama wasted with his stimulus package. This package produced almost no jobs, and we have no clue where most of the money went.

Your comment induced me to Google hunger in the US. According to a 2008 FDA study, about 15% of the US households had some problem with paying for their groceries at least once during the year. I don't what the numbers are since the Obama Recession has gotten longer and worse.

The FDA study is undoubtedly fraught with error. Most statistical studies of this type usually are. Plus, the food stamp program is riddled with fraud. Even so, we have a LOT of people with problems getting food when they need it. They call it food security.

Much of the problem is taken care of by local churches and organizations. Private aid for the hungry through churches and local programs takes care of a good bit of the problem.

Putting on my arithmetic hat, I calculated that $852 Billion would buy 8,600 F22 fighter jets, the one cancelled because it "cost too much". Tens of thousands of jobs would have been created.

$852 Billion would give each of the 12.1 million unemployed a check for $68,000.

People are going hungry. People are going without jobs. People are losing their homes. People are being excluded from having a meaningful life. All this is because of the Obama Administration and its archaic ideas of economy and socialism.

Does anyone think we can afford another four years of Barack Obama?

Bob said...

OOPS! Cost of F22 fighter jet was estimated at about 150 million dollars. I miscalculated, and the number Obama could have bought at that price would have been 5,680. That's still a lot of jets, and a LOT of jobs.

Bob said...

Ducky makes an interesting comment. However, even if works or art compose a new asset bubble, I don't think that the presence of capital, or just lots of money, make that true.

Somebody really wanted that painting. If I had the money, there are lots of pieces I would consider priceless, like pretty much anything Van Gogh, and I know nothing about art! I am even color blind.

If you want to understand capitalism, Ducky, just watch a few episodes of "Storage Wars". This is capitalism at the lowest level. I always watch "Storage Wars", or "Swamp People" whenever Obama is making a speech.

Those shows give a more intellectual presentation than the normal teleprompter abuse from The One.

Leticia said...

That amount of money is staggering! I can't even wrap my mind around it. How could anyone spend all that money on one item.

What a waste. It could have been used for homeless shelters, St.Jude's Hospital, the Breast Cancer or Cancer society, to churches, schools that need computers and equipment, to our Veteran's, or so many worthy causes.

As a Trekkie, I would probably spend a few thousand on something or a prop from the original series or any series,if I had the money, but more than that would be a waste. It's an object.

I would rather spend my money to help others or give to organizations that do.

Elmers Brother said...

Not just a cartoon but an imitation of another's work.

Elmers Brother said...

Well at least with Rothko you get a larger palette. /end sarcasm

Anonymous said...

Well, I'd rather see them waste their money on cartoons than give it to some socialist foundation where it could do some real harm.

Elmers Brother said...

Lichtenstein himself called his work a parody.

Thersites said...

There's more to life than feeding "the masses"... and the day that there's NOT becomes he day that humanity has been reduced to the level of an insect colony.

Right Truth said...

On the other hand, if the person earned the money honestly, it was their money, they can spend it however they want. We don't want to sound like the Obama administration and condemn someone because they have done well. I personally would never spend money that way if I had it.

Right Truth

Z said...

Very interesting comments...thanks so much.
And I absolutely believe anybody can do with their money what they want....but I couldn't....
Not that I'm worried about what to do with some recently gained FORTY FIVE MILL! :-) TRUST me, I'm not!!

Elbro..Lichtenstein had a new way of representation that's fun to look at and opens the door for artists to go in farther, you know? I often think some contemporary artists are more effective in doing that than actually presenting any really beautiful art..
We might not like every Picasso, but putting an eye in the middle of a forehead told artists they don't have to have two eyes on a face anymore.
Now, we can argue that one eye's nuts, but...!

There's only one thing worst than denying that much macaroni and cheese (protein and filling) to so many people;
and that is buying very expensive art and keeping it in your own living room so a famous artist's work (which I somehow feel belongs to us ALL, at least the chance to look at it), can't be enjoyed. Or hated. Whichever; we deserve the choice.

Ducky's here said...

Well isn't this the free market at work?

The painting is there, the money is there, they meet. Laissez-faire heaven.

What I always find astonishing is that when the laissez-faire market starts pumping on all cylinders it's the liberals fault.

Veblen analyzed conspicuous consumption because he knew it was a leftist phenomenon.

Bad habit, when your world view hits a snag (not yours, z, you just seem correctly nonplussed) don't adjust your view, find a liberal to blame.

Z said...

Ducky, I believe anybody can buy that painting if they've got the money and, having worked hard to get that money, let them go for it.

I couldn't...but I would NEVER dream of prohibiting someone from it.

That's where the liberals deserve a kick in their kandinsky (so to speak)......we don't WANT Obama actually saying "you've made enough"...we don't WANT to be told how to spend our money.....

It should be OUR CHOICE.

Ed Bonderenka said...

If you blow all your money on Mac and Cheez, you have no more money.
If you invest in a piece of art like this, you expect a return later, just as with all investments.
The person who gets your money then does something with it, presumably releasing that capital for another purpose.
Perhaps arming a private army to resist the socialist takeover, thus employing many veterans. Maybe.

Law and Order Teacher said...

I would recommend that some of those anti-capitalists read something called "The Gospel of Wealth" by, wait for it, a "Robber Baron" Andrew Carnegie. Even he, of the massive wealth, stated that there comes a time when the wealthy give back to the community.

He didn't advocate the government take it from them, but that they voluntarily give it away. Lest you think Carnegie was a Buffet, he really did it; to the tune of $400 million.

This thought isn't in opposition to conservatism, it's what conservatism is about. We give more to charity than liberals because they expect government to take care of them. We don't.

Equal opportunity, not equal outcome.

Elmers Brother said...

I'm not knocking him, merely affirming his own assessment. Parody is a form of imitating.

Anonymous said...

"I couldn't...but I would NEVER dream of prohibiting someone from it."

You nailed it Z...their efforts at the preservation of art is admirable in my book and they shouldn't be castigated because they can do that. Most of these people are already extremely generous and charitable anyway.

Gates and his peers....have pledged to give away half of their money in their lifetimes...if they want to spend a pittance of their wealth on rare be it.

It's all relative anyway.

They benefit and so do we.

Z said...

Ed, right...but feeding starving people has a pay-back, too, right?
You make excellent points, however, particularly your last one :-)

Elbro,ya, I didn't think you were bashing him; Lichtenstein took it to a height that opened doors for future artists..that's all I'm saying.

Law and Order; that's fascinating. The other day, I was in a group of about thirty people on an entirely different subject but a woman pipes up with "well, tell the Republicans, they should give more in charity!"..snicker, snicker. It would have been the height of inappropriate behavior (so was hers) at that time to tell her the truth, but you're right; Republicans are known to give MORE THAN DEMOCRATS. It still bugs me that people think the opposite and snicker about it. (I think the group was probably 70% Republican, too)...silence.

The wealth give back to the community in huge ways: HIRING, for one thing, buying luxury items, keeping businesses open through their purchases, etc etc...

Kid said...

Yes Z, but equality will be the ruin of us all.

There are so many things about this rock that I find disgusting actually, but I wouldn't trade them for 'equality'.

There is a reason it's called Earth and not Heaven. There must be some reason that the struggle between good and evil occurs relentlessly and timelessly.

I would change much if I could.

Z said...

Kid, by 'equality', do you mean everybody being and having the same?
I want rich people, I don't think poor people will ever go away (the bible says that, by the way)

I don't believe in forcing's against the human condition; it's against everything I stand for.

What prompted your comment?

Kid said...

Z, If we don't want equality (and I wasn't accusing you of wanting it), then we must accept that some people will spend ludicrous amounts of money for things we find trivial and many will not get fed in the process.

But it even goes a little deeper. People and economies thrive because of the 'velocity of money'. Money moving. So, even if some idiot buys a canvas with only a big red dot on it for 87 million, that movement of money Will indirectly benefit a great number of people.

Z said...

Kid, I couldn't agree more.
I'm just saying I couldn't spend that much on a painting (for more reasons than one!) that could feed millions of people and I don't at all condemn those who could.

I want people to have wonderful things.... It's just something I couldn't do.
And I wondered if others could..
purely hypothetical, obviously!

KP said...

I prefer this 1972 original art work from the surf flick and same titled album "Five Summer Stories" by HONK.

Ed Bonderenka said...

My point was that even though the money spent on that painting could feed millions, it isn't frivolously spent on the painting.
It's an investment, like real estate, or a bank. It's redeemable for cash.
And frankly, lest you think I'm heartless, I have little retirement saved.
My money goes to Compassion Int'l.
Let's see if Jesus was right about storehouses, etc.

Z said...

Ed, we'll see, won't we, about storehouses.
And I totally got your point and agree with you that it's not frivolous money. But, it sort of is, you have to admit...

I just have to say that I still think feeding children is like an investment :-)

Z said...

KP, do you have that poster?
And, if not, what would it be worth$$??

I like the Endless Summer posters..remember?

KP said...

Hi Z, I don't have the poster; but I did see them at a high school dance in 1972 in Carpinteria, CA. I do have the vinyl album and I do have a couple nice long sleeve Ts with the image on the back. I am trying to find that original on Esty. They are asking about $300 (underpriced)!

I do have the 1964 Bruce Brown Endless Summer poster and saw the flick in a high school gym with my dad.

In those eight years we went from 9'6" surfboards to 6'10" sticks.

Lisa said...

"Well, I'd rather see them waste their money on cartoons than give it to some socialist foundation where it could do some real harm."

Love that one CF

Pris said...

I really don't give a hoot how the wealthy spend their money. It's their money.

Personally, if that were me, I wouldn't waste it on a cartoon like
illustration as the one pictured, or a Jackson Pollack painting either.

To me, neither is real art. But, that's just me.

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