A detail of "Dora Maar With Cat," a 1941 portrait by Picasso, was sold Wednesday night for $95.2 US million, the second highest price for a painting at auction. The 'woman' was Picasso's finger-stabbing mistress and, yeah, there is a cat on the back of her chair.
I guess people want to own this ugly rubbish because it is so valuable. But it is strange because you could buy a reproduction of this piece with equivalent aesthetic impact for no more than $100 US. Oh you philistine, HC, you forgot about 'authenticity'.
But let's face it - remove the fact that it is a 'valuable' piece and you would not seek to look at it twice.
Comments on an earlier Picasso sale (cited here) are illuminating:
Art critic Robert Hughes spoke at the Royal Academy of Arts about the sale of Picasso’s 'Garçon à la pipe' . It went for $104 million. Mr. Hughes said simply that the sale was “a cultural obscenity.” He went on, “Such gestures do no honor to art. They debase it by making the desire for it pathological.” Some collectors, Hughes commented, “use museums as megaphones for their own sometimes debatable taste.” He expressed concern about the effects of speculation in art: “After 30 years in New York, I have seen a lot of the damage it can do — the sudden puffing of reputations, the throwing of eggs in the air to admire their short grace of flight, the tyranny of fashion.” I seldom agree with much that Hughes says but here I do.