Microsoft founder Paul Allen was expected to get $20 million to $40 million for Onement VI, which went up for auction in New York Tuesday.
A telephone bidder beat out four other hopefuls, winning the painting for $43.845 million. That’s twice the record price, set just one year ago, for a Newman work at auction.
Abstract is fine. Minimalist art is probably what you're thinking of.
I never really have grasped abstract art.
Pop art, I get. Dogs playing poker, Andy Warhol's soup can, elvis on velvet, it's wonderfully tacky. Like watching the Flash Gordon movie or Batman TV show (Adam West).
I dont get.
This painting is going to sell for over a million and I wish I could buy it:
Not the full image.
Thank you for being a friend
To answer OP's question:
Some art has historical and/or cultural significance and is considered iconic. Warhol's soup cans or Marilyn Monroe pieces, for example. Or some valuable art has significance within the world of art collectors because a particular piece is considered to be definitive within a genre, having started a movement, etc.
And some of it is straight up navel gazing pretentiousness.
I call it "La Merde"
so grab your floppy penis and stroke it like a paint brush. drippy-drip da random incomprehensions. release your inner pollock.
This. although way oversimplified.
When more than one person wants something unique, generally the person with the most money gets it.
In reality people with insane amounts of money see in art a very secure deposit of their assets. The world of art sales is unique in that regard, things never really lost value, and only increase, I really doubt they are actually fans of art, I cannot imagine an actual fan of say, Banksy, wasting thousands in one of his pieces, even Banksy himself feels flabbergasted about it.
There is a snobbish angle as well, to appear cultured some people decide to expend insane amounts in pieces of art they don't understand.
And at last, some art is not cheap to make, people feel shocked about an unknown artist selling a portrait for $1000, but the materials could easily actually cost that.
If we didn't have so many billionaires, such price levels would not be sustainable.
I actually like abstract expressionism in general and Newman in particular a whole lot, I'm just commenting on the economics of it.
As cliché and art school snob 101 as it sounds, yes.
I would pay oodles of money for a Rothko.
because i could hang them around my billion dollar mansion and if anyone were to call me out on them I could say they just don't get it in an elitist and condescending way, and it would be a legitimate excuse because they wouldn't counter it.
No, but really, it's just a rich people way of waving their moneydicks around. "Look how much I can spend on terrible paintings!"
It's a shame they waste so much money on petty things like this and instead can't just donate a lot of it to people who actually need the resources.
I always liked this Pollock though:
Pollock's paintings can be distinguished from fakes by their fractal complexity. It isn't easy to get something to look like this. I think the complexity makes it so your mind creates patterns in it.
Rothko is harder to explain, but I have stood and stared at his work before, and would love to have one.
Having said that, I do think the money aspect of art is to a certain extent disconnected from quality. Not totally disconnected, but there are huge factors besides how good it is or even how much they like it, when it comes to paying these crazy sums.