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Arty Farty Friday: A Guide on how to spend your Millions


I’ve got something simple but useful for you today.

Instead of stuffing your mattress with all those banknotes, or wallpapering your room with them, how about investing in a little art?

For some it’s mere pocket change, but would you give $100 million for a Picasso (if you had it)?

I sympathise with museums who are unable to compete at auction with major corporations looking to get the greatest return on their investment.

Many paintings will disappear completely only to resurface in fifty years on the selling block.

How can we possibly price art anyway?

Does the price make it more accomplished, as Soames Forsyte would say?

You can check out the list of the world’s most expensive paintings with their prices adjusted here.


Turns out my least favourite painters, Willem de Kooning’s and his Woman III takes second place.

Seriously, no offence but there’s something about his work that turns my stomach and not in a good way.


The painting I would have taken a loan out for is Tamara Lempicka’s Adam and Eve, which sold at auction in New York for $1.98 million in 1994.

I would have paid off 0,0000001% by now 😉

Anyway, here’s a documentary shedding light on the world’s most expensive paintings, but also proof that Jeffrey Archer is indeed a pompous tw*t.

About Agzy The Ripper

Sew, Rip, Repeat... and love each moment of it! Join me as I embark on a myriad of sewing and crafting shenanigans.

22 responses »

  1. Very informative piece … many thanks! 🙂

  2. Kidding aside, one can start small, with a numbered print using a variety of blocking, litho or printing techniques. One of my prized possessions is a numbered litho of a “Glasses in the Jewish Museum” by Janet Fish – which was surprisingly affordable. You can see the note card version here – but it is about 32 X 20

    • That’s beautiful! I agree that you should buy/invest in something that moves you. I was just telling someone the other day about a millionaire I once knew who started “collecting” art, but had absolutely no idea about it, nor did he have any taste. And I don’t mean being able to spot what may be valuable in the future. He was unable to look at something and say: I like it. His wife commented how he’d love to buy a painting to celebrate a particular event, to watch their collection grow from year to year. All he could do was buy in bulk what his advisors suggested.

  3. Your piece made me think of this, which you might find interesting:

    • Art has always served as a means to climb the social ladder, what’s sad is that companies who use painting as merely an investment that offers fantastic return are pricing museums and galleries out of the market.
      Don’t get me wrong, I’ve read enough about the dealings of the MET and such to frown upon their tactics, but at least art is available to the little people like you and me. The question now is, will this art bubble burst? Logic dictates that it will as the prices reach astronomical levels, having said that, maybe there’ll always be someone who will pine over a Picasso and will be willing to spend hundreds of millions just to own one.

  4. Just looked at the whole list, which was fascinating. I don’t think there’s a single piece on there that speaks to me (not unusual). And at least one of them (portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer) has been the object of a protracted legal battle in the wake of the Shoah. It’s another think that makes me agree w/Perry — if I love art, I should collect things I love being made now that are affordable for me (since the point for someone like me isn’t art as investment, anyway).

    My favorite artist currently active: Henk Helmantel.

    • Still life is definitely not AgzyM’s cup of tea, but I can’t deny the paintings are amazing! I’m actually starting my post graduate course on art history this week and I’m super excited. I know plenty about American art and 19/20c art, but I’m looking to refresh/learn more about other periods. We’ll have a class titled: “Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton as examples of the Avantgarde”. I have no idea what that means, but I can’t wait to find out! Not to mention socialist sculpture that everyone is so keen to knock down as it reminds them of communistic times and I find particularly beautiful. The irony is that my college is located in the most famous building in Warsaw, a gift from Stalin 😉

      And it has some amazing sculptures:

      • yes, there was some really great Communist-era architecture, even in Germany. Everytime some 20-year-old tells me about how Communists couldn’t build buildings, I say, Karl Marx Allee in Berlin? and they say, oh, that wasn’t a Communist construction. Om, yes it was. Be informed.

        • I actually found it quite touching when I saw the statues in China. They were just like the ones you’d find in Poland, of strong muscular workers, but with Chinese features. It was amazing 🙂
          Every so often I read about how all communistic buildings must be torn down, but it’s a part of our history, getting rid of them won’t erase our past.

          • Indeed. And the other thing is that as representatives of a specific kind of modernism those pieces will periodically come back into style. In 1989 everyone in Berlin wanted out of the blockstyle apartment houses that were build after the mid-70s; by the late 1990s some people were moving back into them because they were thought cool.

  5. Ciekawe co Ci dawni, biedni, przymierajacy głodem artyści powiedzieliby na to szaleństwo cenowe?. Przecież za tę kase to moznaby małe panstwo wyżywić. A z drugiej strony, oj gdybym Ci ja miała worek dudków to tez bym sobie kupiła coś piknego…tak tylko by móc całymi dniami na to patrzeć:)
    PS: Trochę przykro to przyznać ale J. Archer to rzeczywiscie jest du..ek nie lada!

    • Można policzyć na palcah jednej ręki artystów którzy bezpośrednio, za życia dostawali porządną kasę za swoje prace. Jeśli się nie mylę biedny Vincent nie sprzedał ani jednego obrazu za życia, ogólnie dopiero na rynku wtórnym ceny osiągają astonomicznych pułapów. Dlatego, I TYLKO dlatego postanowiłam nie zostać znaną artystką! A co będą moi potomkowie hulać za moją kasę! 😉

  6. Why pay millions, when you can get it for $60 — I bet a lot of people are kicking themselves today:


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