This video is called Amsterdam, Netherlands: Van Gogh’s Life and Art.
This blog post is from last year, from Dear Kitty ModBlog, recovered through the Google cache.
Today Vincent van Gogh’s birthday. Art and money Linking: 40 Comments: 46
Date: 3/30/05 at 9:56AM
Mood: Looking Playing: Painter man, by Creation
Today is the birthday of famous Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh.
Part of his life he lived among the miners of the Borinage region in Belgium. He was on their side in their fight against poverty.
He died poor himself. He managed to sell just one of his paintings during his life, for little money.
However, after his death, in a cruel twist of economical mechanisms, he became an artist off whom some people made very much money.
Van Gogh was not atypical in this.
Dutch daily NRC Handelsblad of 6 May 2004 published a Top 10 of most expensive works of art. Paintings, all of them.
The most expensive one of all, by Pablo Picasso, was sold for 104,1 million $.
In the Top 10 are 4 works by Pablo Picasso. An artist with far more luck than many others, in that appreciation already came during his lifetime.
So, compared to the overwhelming majority of artists, he was able to live well from his art. Still, he was much less of a millionaire than the speculators dealing in his work after his death. Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d’Avignon is widely seen as one of the most influential paintings, maybe even the most influential painting, of the twentieth century. Yet its maker got only 25,000 French francs for it, from a wealthy fashion designer. In 1937, The Museum of Modern Art in New York bought it for 28,000 dollars. While if some art dealer would sell the painting today, he would sell it for tens of millions of dollars.
As a French communist party member, Picasso opposed capitalism.
And what would he have said, if he knew that the copy of his anti-war painting Guernica, at the United Nations building in New York City as a warning, was covered up as “too realistic” during the 2003 speech by then United States Secretary of State Colin Powell?
The speech in which Powell preached war against Iraq, “because of Weapons of Mass Destruction” which did not exist (as Powell himself conceded later)?
One work by Rubens in the Top 10; sold for 76,7 million $. Also Rubens could live reasonably well from his art (and his job as a diplomat), but he certainly wasn’t a millionaire.
Also one painting by Pierre-Auguste Renoir. Was poor during the first half of his life. Had some more luck later, though also not becoming a millionaire.
Also in the Top 10: three paintings by Vincent van Gogh, most after Picasso. We already discussed the cruel paradox of his life and work.
Last year, a distant relative of Vincent, Theo van Gogh, was killed in Amsterdam. See this article.
Completing the Top Ten of “rich” paintings, also 1 work by Paul Cézanne. Who, 56 years after his birth and 11 years before his death, could at last exhibit his paintings for the first time. Also he did not get rich by his art.
Others, who did not even contribute one drop of paint, did get rich off his art after his death.
One more example of the poor painters-“rich paintings” paradox.
And today, about a century after Cézanne and Van Gogh?
“Don’t give up your day job, a report released last November into the economic circumstances of professional artists in Australia, reveals that the overwhelming majority of artists are living in dire poverty.” See here.
More on art and economy and society:
Basquiat Painting Sells for Historic $110.5 Million At Sotheby’s Auction. Work breaks record for most ever paid at auction for an American artist: here.
Julio Gonzalez and Picasso: here.
On LA County Museum of Art: here.
On Judge Scalia: here.
John Molyneux on Warhol: here.
The announcement by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts that it has sealed a deal with Christie’s to liquidate its remaining art holdings of reportedly 20,000 works has left many people scratching their heads. The foundation bearing the name of one of the most influential artist of our times intends to own none of his art? Here.
From ABC News:
LONDON Jun 20, 2005 — Monkey business proved to be lucrative Monday when paintings by Congo the chimpanzee sold at auction for more than $25,000.
The three abstract, tempera paintings were auctioned at Bonhams in London alongside works by impressionist master Renoir and pop art provocateur Andy Warhol.
But while Warhol’s and Renoir’s work didn’t sell, bidders lavished attention on Congo’s paintings.
Contemporary Chinese artist Yue Minjun and money: here.
Damien Hirst, art, and money: here.
“My transcription of Francis D. Klingender’s pamphlet, Marxism and Modern Art: An approach to social realism is now available at the Marxist Internet Archive”: here.
Picasso Sets New Auction Record: here.
The 10 most expensive paintings ever sold. A Gauguin painting has sold for a reported $300m, making it the most expensive painting ever sold. See how it compares with other pricey paintings that have sold for vast sums: here.
Nick Wright reflects on the life and work of the influential Marxist art historian and theorist HANS HESS, who died 40 years ago today: here.