Did The Art Market Go Crazy Again?

November 11, 2009

After a year of bad results followed by a rebound this Fall, it seems the high art market may have recovered its old nerve. I haven’t got the details yet but I hear via Twitter that Andy Warhol’s painting of dollar bills made a phenomenal $43.7m against an estimate of $8-$12m at Sotheby’s New York tonight! That’s bizarre and shows that common sense has failed in the art market once again. Plus ca change, plus le meme chose.

Update: Here is the NYT story on the sale.

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For Remembrance Day, On Seeing A Photograph

November 11, 2009

You were young men in the Guards
treading water in wretched trenches
swinging kitbags and rifles and broad silly grins

so young
that two billion volumes single-spaced wouldn’t be enough
to list all of life’s treasures
you haven’t experienced yet
and still you would die
right then
right there
doing right
or so you thought
as you lay where
no-one could tell where
mud ended and blood began

three and four generations removed,
we lay wreathes for your wraiths
on a hollow day in November
while the parades and the poppies
hallucinate
an annual landscape of memory

profound today, gone tomorrow

and for three or four days the flowers fade
and the greenery browns at your memorials
and then the work crews come

young men and women with guarded futures
treading water at minimum wage
swinging brooms and shovels and black plastic bags

and when the work trucks leave
your memory has turned once again
to cold undecorated stone
and nothing can ever change
the fact
that you died before you started living.