$151.8 Million?

Jackson Pollock, No. 5, 1948

This is currently the most expensive painting in the world.  It sold for $151.8 million, but other paintings have sold for nearly as much (World’s Most Expensive Paintings).

Educated and wealthy people purchased these works; they could have bought sports teams and small nations (maybe not), but instead they bought a piece of stretched canvas covered with paint.   Why?  What were they after?  Is it only ego, or did they desire something more?   Did they get it?

We came up with some ideas in class about this particular work.  It may have been purchased because:

  1. The buyer loved it.
  2.  It was a good investment. (Pollock was unique and died young).
  3. It was meaningful. (He gave his short life to art so it could be seen as both reliquary and memento mori).
  4. It confered status on its owner. (It is difficult to understand and expensive).
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