Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Art and Money

“Ascended,” a Damien Hirst canvas filled with colorful butterflies, sold for $4 million.

This has been an interesting week, to say the least. The bankrupting of Lehman Brothers shocked a lot of people who expected a sale or bale out. Merill Lynch, sold. AIG insurance Co. gets an $85B US(?) bale out. So much for free market economics. Thank you Mr. Friedman (Milton, that is).

At the same moment in history, artist Damien Hirst has the cahonees to sell 2 year's enterprise (work) at auction, circumventing his dealers. The take : +$200,000,000. No, that is not a mistake and the number is in today's New York Times. What I find particularly remarkable about this event is its significance as art. The auction itself is an elaborate art work which profits so many peope and can, if we choose to pay attention this way, show that all things are elusive and serve that which we chose to collectiviely grant significance. Hirst has never been my favorite artist- I found his work sensational (hah!) at best. But this feat he has pulled off is nothing short of genius and my hat is off to him this morning. Say what you will, he really did a number and the timing!

So, art doesn't imitate life. Art redefines and reorganizes how we view life. It create a whole realm for thinking to shift. Art create context which allows for all things to come from. We can know that or not. It doesn't matter because art is. And we come from that. Together. Society is a Sculpture.

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