Art auction record shattered

May 15, 2008
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Last night at Sotheby’s auction house in New York, a 1976 angst-infused triptych by Francis Bacon sold for $86.3 million. Apparently that’s the highest price ever paid at auction for a piece of contemporary art.

My instinct was to ask if anything could possibly be worth $86.3 million.

Then I remembered that the 1998 movie bomb “Godzilla” was said to have production costs of $130 million — and it’s now barely in the top 50 most expensive films ever made.

So now I'm totally confused.

Your thoughts?
  • That triptych is amazing! If I had a gazillion dollars I would certainly spend $86 million for that painting. But I don't, so I didn't.
  • Ummm, there were hundreds of employees working on King Kong and only Francis Bacon working on the triptych. I guess labor wasn't a factor in the price.
  • GODZILLA grossed $379 million worldwide, too, so it bombed pretty spectacularly. Still, I bet the ROI is greater for Mr. Bacon - and the product more expensive for the buyer, being an individual and not a group of several million filmgoers.

    How a sixteenth-century English statesman painted a triptych in 1976 I'll never know.
  • Somebody paid $36 million for a contemporary painting of a naked obese lady. Who are we to decide what rich people can waste their money on.
  • Man, what _I_ could do with 86.3 million dollars!
  • You gotta love a free-market economy. I'm just thinking how much I worry about anything I pay more than a few thousand bucks on. I wouldn't be able to sleep knowing I owned anything worth that much money.

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