Friday, September 02, 2016

September 2, 2016--$58.0 Million Balloon Dog

If you have a spare $58 million lying around and want to use it to buy a piece of art. you have two choices--

Peter Paul Rubens "Lot and His Daughters" or Jeff Koon's "Orange Balloon Dog."

That's about what they went for in recent auctions.

Check them out below to see what will go best with your sofa.

Note--the "Dog" is very big.

In an artfully-titled piece in the New York Times, "Contemporary Casualties," Robin Pogrebin rues the evidence that old master works are falling out of favor and in their place is the rush to the contemporary, particularly what is "associated with the new and the now."

And also what fits on the walls and in the living spaces of all those $50.0 million Manhattan condos. See the cost-of-living-extraordinarily-well symmetry.

But much more is revealed by this shift in taste and conspicuous consumption. Richard Meyer, an art history professor at Stanford says, "We are losing a sense of the value of the past, including the value of past art . . . Not just the aesthetic value, but the ways in which it can teach us about the cultures and the people who came before us."

What he doesn't note, but the implication is clear, is the growing evidence that younger people do not think much about any aspect of the past and thus the subject of history itself is dwindling on university campuses with art history even more of a casualty.

Christophe Van de Weghe, a Madison Avenue dealer with an old-master name, has it about right--"People who come into the contemporary field like colors that go well with their couches."

Though I'm not sure about Koons' orange "Dog."

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