Thursday, May 6, 2010

Pablo Picasso was quite good at painting things

Yesterday in an effort to finally satisfy the battle royale regarding whether or not Pablo Picasso was a rather talented artist the folks at Christies decided to finally put an end to the debate and declare that the Spaniard was, in fact quite good, presumably making him very happy. Or sad. Or at the very least still very deceased and still not as rich as he'd like to be.

You know that moment when your child comes to you and has suddenly decided to dress slightly odd and tells you that he has decided not to follow your advice and take over the family fruit stand business but instead wants to change his name from Fankie Jr to Shiloh and instead become an artist?

That's typically when we spend our nights crying and convulsing and wondering where it is that we went wrong and ultimately end up suing the school system. Maybe it's time to re-think that impulse and prepare for a lifetime of encouraging Frankie...errr....Shiloh...errr....whatever and prepare for a retirement of relaxing baths in liquified rubies and diamond encrusted Pumas for pets.

For those of you who missed the news, Pablo Picasso is officially one very rich Spaniard. Actually, that isn't exactly true....but whoever owns his “Nude, Green Leaves and Bust" painting sure is (or was) and they splashed out a whopping $106 million to prove it.

If you are ever looking to make the Venus De Milo applaud, and high five this is probably a good place to start.

History has a funny way of being fairly relevant. First of all unlike the future, there is always plenty of history. Secondly also unlike the future we can always count on history and thus some of the bits that people left behind whilst making it to continue to become more and more valuable. The other nice thing about history is that we can always just forget about the portions that we no longer care for very much and slightly embarrass us. A bit like The Crusades or Parker Stevensons hair.

You can't however deny and stand in jaw dropping awe of the fact that a mans work netted $106 million to somebody who not only had that kind of change lying around in the cup holder of what must surely be an SUV so vast it Saudi Arabia must sink 3 inches into the ocean every time he fills it with gasoline, but that they are willing to pay it so that they might enjoy his work.

Or did they?

Who would or could buy this piece?

>From The New York Times today;

Though Christie’s did not reveal the painting’s buyer, it was almost certainly an oligarch or hedge fund mogul. The auction house’s chief pointed to “depth of buying from Russia, China and the Middle East.” Christie’s brought in nearly 30 percent more than the bottom of its expectations from the New York sale of 56 artworks.

Moreover, the gaggle of emerging market heavyweights like Roman Abramovich of Russia were said to be bidding against some of the hedge fund world’s most prolific collectors, including Citadel Investment founder Ken Griffin and the Connecticut billionaire trader Steven Cohen.

Admittedly it's slightly sad to think that is piece of artwork is an investment, and won't be hanging on any bathroom walls for the owner to enjoy it any time soon. It's now just another holding, not unlike the Beatles back catalogue or The Elephant Man.

Who knows what dear old Pablo would think about all of this but hopefully he's at least having a good laugh and toasting the good life somewhere. Meanwhile, here on earth maybe it's time we go buy Frankie Jr...err....Shiloh.....errr.....oh...never mind some new crayons and a chunk of old cardboard to scribble on.

Shiloh or whatever it is you're calling yourself these days.....get on with it......Mamma needs a new Gulfstream jet...."

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