Thursday, 15 May 2008

Inflated Painting

Unfortunately not as interesting as the title may suggest, oh well.

After reading this article, I came away thinking two things.

Firstly I find it mildly ironic that a painting by Bacon happens to look as though he was painting some abstract rashers of bacon and secondly that surely these records are likely to get more frequently broken due to inflation. For a few reasons.

Back in 1976, when the previous record holder was sold for £27m, this would have been a substantial amount, where as now £27m is a ludicrous amount, but obviously not too much for some people, where as $43m is a substantial amount now, so if inflation continues like it is doing in another 30 years it may not be as ludicrous.

Also as people get richer they are more likely to spend stupid amounts to get a piece of artwork, even if it's not that great. Conceivably Bacon's painting is not better than Study For Innocent X (if that's it's title) sold in 76, it just happened that some guy with far too much money decided to buy it, or that two people really wanted it and the auction just got crazy, who knows.

It seems that comparing two paintings by the amount they where bought for isn't a great way of comparing things as 30 years ago £27m may have been the equivalent to £50m today. I'm not sure if this is true, my knowledge of economics is very small (just have a look at my bank balance).


TheTelf said...

Using teh interwebs to my advantage (hence absolving myself of any guarentee of accuracy), this site seems to imply that £27m in 1976 is equivalent to more like £156m now.

And yes, amount paid for is a silly way to judge art, since pretty much by definition, it has different value to different people.

James said...

I think if I was an artist I would find the amount paid for a painting to be an eminently sensible way of judging how good it was, as long as it was a lot :-)

The Big LeBamski said...

Just thought I'd bring to your attention that Study For Innocent X was sold in 2007 not 1976 (I'm guessing you got '76 from the year that Triptych was painted). This makes things slightly different as an increase of that amount within just one year is pretty noteworthy.

The way that the BBC article comes across, I don't the intention was to say which piece of art was necessarily "better", more to show the rise in prominence of Bacon's painting.

Andy J. Wotherspoon said...

hahaha yeah I'm a loser.

Well there's a "perfectly good" post decimated :D hurray.