Thursday, May 25, 2006

"Raíces", by Frida Kahlo

This painting has been auctioned today for 5.6 million USD. It's a lot of money. One could ask: "What would I do with that amount? Certainly not buy a painting." But then again, no one buys anything like this for such a price if all of her other needs weren't satisfied. I mean, before paying 5.6 million USD for a painting, you have probably eaten well, traveled a lot, built a couple of houses around the World and donated some millions for charity. Only then, I would say, would you consider buying a painting with the money that's left.

And that’s the most charming in art: however rich you might be, never will you have a complete collection of masterpieces – Bill Gates’ 50 billion USD, for example, would buy only 10.000 “Raíces”, whilst one of Louvre’s exhibition rooms has more than 3.000 paintings – he could maybe buy the whole Louvre, but there were still lots of masterpieces left in other people’s hands.

Of course they’re not all Frida Kahlos or all Picassos, but the point is, no known fortune can buy all masterpieces by, say, the 100 major artists in history (and still less, when you consider that wealthy people can’t spend all their fortune in art, because they still have to, at least, eat and dress themselves – what good is a Botticelli for a naked millionaire?)

And so, the art collector – the wealthy art collector – has the great luck of never having too much money, for as much as he may have, it’s still not enough to complete his collection.

The wealthy art collector will always have a ultimate goal for his fortune, making him eager to earn more to be able to buy more oils on canvases!

And that’s why Economy thanks Art for its contribution for the raise in productivity.

Rather far-fetched? So are the 5.6 million USD, and no one complains.

Or, perhaps, poor Frida Kahlo does, struggling in her tomb for a breed of air or a share of the pie!

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