Cans

December 1, 2008

cans

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Calculation

December 1, 2008

Calculation

It’s the poor that give
to the poor.
Those who can actually afford it walk by
the outstretched hand and box
with sneering dismissal.

“Get a job”, they whisper under their peppermint breath,
knowing, as bosses,
they would never hire some bum
begging on a street corner.

“Have a nice day, anyway”

Spitting on a well-polished shoe
gets you six months’ jail time;
letting the poor starve
gets your picture in “Newsweek”.

Go figure.

[I wrote this in 1998.  It is still true today as I witnessed just this morning]


Good Fine Art Falls Like The Dow

December 1, 2008

The Dow fell 7% today.  Perhaps this was the hangover from the terrible results of the Jeanne Lanvin auction at Christies in Paris this morning.  Pre-sale estimates were for a total sale of between Euros 13 million and 19.7 million.   Total sales actually realised:  just Euros 7.7 million.   One has to wonder how many guaranteed prices Christies are eating tonight.

The big picture — Renoir’s Tapisseries dans le parc — failed to sell.   Of the other high-priced pre-sale estimates, another Renoir barely cleared its 800,000 minimum, as did the delightful L’embarcadère à Trouville by Eugene Boudin.   A third Renoir found 1.15 million against the anticipated minimum of 1.2 million, and Picasso’s La Coiffure fetched Euros 840,000 against an expected low of 1 million.  Both Degas’ Femme au chapeau bleu and Mademoiselle Salle, each estimated at around Euros 1 million, failed to find buyers.

There were some successes, however.  Pieces by Pierre Bonnard, Jean-Louis Forain, Eduard Vuillard, Roger de la Fresnaye — along with Renoir’s jeune fille — all sold well over their pre-sale highs.