For The Sake Of Art

The Joker was here. Previously known as Jack Napier before the Gotham Crusader dropped him into a vat of chemicals, the Joker meets up with Vicki Vale in the museum, but not before ordering his thugs to deface the paintings on display.

Let’s have some perspective.  Say, for argument’s sake, that you own a radiated tortoise (Astrochelys radiata), a near-endangered species native to Madagascar which, for some abstract reason, happens to inhabit your abode.  Weighing maybe 30 pounds or more, this pet has a blunt head, elephantine feet and a high-domed and extraordinarily hard carapace for a shell.

Now let’s further assume that you are an avid painting collector, having amassed some of the local masters including the recent acquisition of a Botong Francisco, valued in today’s art universe in excess of Ps 50 million. Still undecided where to hang your booty, you lean it against one wall, awaiting its permanent place in the atelier.  Your reptile, no still life he, ambles along the living room, espies the Botong, and with just the slightest hint of non-appreciation, accidentally tips it over on its stone-like carapace.  The fabled painting falls with a thud on your pet’s back, and sustains a small, two-inch tear right in the middle, a fact that might have gone unnoticed by the untrained eye, but for you, a disaster of catastrophic proportions that totally eclipses its market value.

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