Thursday, May 03, 2012
Edward Munch "The Scream" for 119.9 Million
Edward Munch's pastel of "The Scream" rakes in 119.9 Million. Some have commented that the money could have been put to better use. I completely disagree. Art has a lasting power that transcends the problems of the everyday. Sure the collector could have gave the money to some charity, but have no illusion that just money would solve any of the worlds problems. Money is thrown a problems all the time and we magically still have the same problems after the money is spent. In order to fully understand a purchase like this you must follow the chain of effects and possibilities. The seller of the artwork says the money will be used to build a new museum. This will bring jobs to construction workers, curators, an architect firm, etc. I am sure a good percentage of those workers give a portion to charity. Now what was at first 119.9 Million gets spread around and turned into wealth for more people.
Another effect that often gets overlooked is that if people are willing to pay a great deal to invest in a dead artist, this also encourages people to take a risk on a living artist. Those that risk investing in living artist allow a few to make a living. Those artists that are making a living often emply other people and these same artists usually help to promote progressive ideas. So, all those that attack a big sell like this, please don't oversimply. The collector was sitting on that money and now the money is doing something productive and putting people to work (directly or indirectly).