So. It’s been revealed, er, actually divulged by ‘art world sources’ that the anonymous buyer of Picasso’s Femmes d’Alger is Qatar’s former prime minister (and billionaire) Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani. The painting this month set a new world record for art sold at an auction with its $179 million final bid.
Should the news that the noveau riche are art buyers surprise us? It happened during the Late Renaissance when the Medici family’s patronage encouraged a flowering of the arts in Florence, Italy. And. Does not even the Kardashian family look to art to legitimize their claim to fame (which, forgive me, really hinges on Kim’s notoriety rather than any actual achievement).
In any case, the mind boggles. With $179 million, I could definitely
1 hire a cook for the rest of my life so I won’t need to plan meals, buy groceries and slave over the stove for hours on end (with three boys, food gets easily consumed in our house)
2 eat out for the rest of my life, thereby, erasing the need for a cook to fulfill my responsibilities in the kitchen
3 hire a cleaner to clean the bathrooms/toilets, vacuum all the carpeted bedrooms, dust all the books in the bookshelves, iron the clothes, etc …
4 hire a maid to gather all the scattered books in the house and return them to their respective bookshelves
5 read more (my bedside bookshelf is bulging with books to be read)
6 write more (I write posts in my head while washing dishes, loading the washer, etc … only for said posts to be forgotten once I sit in front of the PC)
7 travel to all the art museums in the world and
6 buy the art of a living but obscure artist to bolster his/her confidence and encourage him/her to produce more art
But then. I. Do not. Have $179 million. Which is why – for the past few years – I made do with trolling through Art.com whenever I need to relax and the mind cannot absorb a literary work or art. Unfortunately, the site has been blocked by the authorities here for reasons unknown. That is why I am now making do with ogling the items at Cole Haan’s Memorial Day sale and Dooney & Bourke’s Four Days of Summer Fun sale. And dreaming of handbags instead of art with a capital A.