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A Scream Worth $119,922,500

Tyler Durden's picture


If Munch's Scream was a public company, its stock would be limit up now, because contrary to expectations of it selling at a just concluded auction in Sotheby's for $80 million, the painting just slammed all expectations (except LaVorgna's we are told), selling at a record $119,922,500 (that's $119.9 million... for a made in 1895, 36" x 28.9" painting). This makes it the highest amount of money ever spent for an artwork, with only Picasso's "Boy With a Pipe" and Giacometti's "Walking Man I" selling for more than $100 million in the past. That said, in real terms and assuming 2% annual inflation, the Picasso painting which sold for $104 million in 2004, would now be worth over $120 Million in nominal terms so once again we get into the whole nominal, real debate. It is unknown if some high freak algo went berserk and kept lifting the offer, confused that this is the travesty formerly known as the stock market (although certainly keep an eye out for strange screaming artwork in the GETCO offices) nor is the buyer, but one thing that is certain: it would take the average American 4,548.9 years, earning the 2010 Median Salary of $26,363.55 to be able to purchase the painting. And some wonder why there is a bit of a social divide in the world... As to whether a painting will be considered money by the Charmin' Chairman, well, we will have to wait and see.

From AP:

One of the art world's most recognizable images - Edvard Munch's "The Scream" - sold Wednesday for a record $119,922,500 at auction in New York City.


The 1895 artwork - a modern symbol of human anxiety - was sold at Sotheby's. The price includes the buyer's premium.


The image of a man holding his head and screaming under a streaked, blood-red sky is one of four versions by the Norwegian expressionist painter. The auctioned piece at Sotheby's is the only one left in private hands.


The previous record for an artwork sold at auction was $106.5 million for Picasso's "Nude, Green Leaves, and Bust," sold by Christie's in 2010.


The image has become part of pop culture, "used by everyone from Warhol to Hollywood to cartoons to teacups and T-shirts," said Michael Frahm of the London-based art advisory service firm Frahm Ltd.


"Together with the Mona Lisa, it's the most famous and recognized image in art history," he added.


Sotheby's said its pastel-on-board version of "The Scream" is the most colorful and vibrant of the four and the only version whose frame was hand-painted by the artist to include his poem, detailing the work's inspiration.


In the poem, Munch described himself "shivering with anxiety" and said he felt "the great scream in nature."


Norwegian businessman Petter Olsen, whose father was a friend and patron of the artist, said he sold the piece because he felt "the moment has come to offer the rest of the world the chance to own and appreciate this remarkable work."


Proceeds from the sale will go toward the establishment of a new museum, art center and hotel in Hvitsten, Norway, where Olsen's father and Munch were neighbors.


The director of the National Museum in Oslo, Audun Eckhoff, says Norwegian authorities approved the Munch sale since the other versions of the composition are in Norwegian museums. One version is owned by the National Museum and two others by the Munch Museum, also in Oslo.


Sotheby's said a total of eight works have sold for $80 million or more at auction.


Only two other works besides Picasso's "Nude, Green Leaves, and Bust" have sold for more than $100 million at auction. Those are Picasso's "Boy With a Pipe (The Young Apprentice)" for $104.1 million in 2004 and Alberto Giacometti's "Walking Man I" for $104.3 million in 2010.


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Wed, 05/02/2012 - 20:39 | 2392604 Coke and Hookers
Coke and Hookers's picture

Any news on who the buyer is?

Wed, 05/02/2012 - 20:48 | 2392627 navy62802
navy62802's picture

Wouldn't surprise me if it turned out to be Blankfein. He pisses $100 million every morning when he wakes up.

Wed, 05/02/2012 - 20:53 | 2392636 fnord88
fnord88's picture

It's a real asset though. One of a kind. Even gold cant say that, as a cubic kilometer of ocean contains more gold than has ever been mined. 

Wed, 05/02/2012 - 20:58 | 2392647 Azwethinkweiz
Azwethinkweiz's picture

Yeah, but throw a painting in a bucket of that same ocean water and see if it'll still hold it's intrinsic value when you fetch it in the morning.

Wed, 05/02/2012 - 21:04 | 2392662 Troll Magnet
Troll Magnet's picture

but but but...can you eat it?

Wed, 05/02/2012 - 21:11 | 2392679 A Nanny Moose
A Nanny Moose's picture

You can burn it (painting) for warmth.

Wed, 05/02/2012 - 21:46 | 2392751 AldousHuxley
AldousHuxley's picture

price does not reflect utility for consumer goods

price reflects meaning of perceived exclusivity and status value

The painting is basically screaming "I'm rich biatch"


beyond basic necessities, man kind labors for social status which can be traded in for power.




Wed, 05/02/2012 - 21:50 | 2392760 Id fight Gandhi
Id fight Gandhi's picture

So would this be a Veblen good or a giffen good?

Thu, 05/03/2012 - 08:22 | 2393323 GetZeeGold
GetZeeGold's picture



Damn this thing looks good behind my desk - Ben Shalom Bernanke

Wed, 05/02/2012 - 22:08 | 2392794 A_S
A_S's picture

you also have decent people

Thu, 05/03/2012 - 04:10 | 2393146 The Proletariat
The Proletariat's picture

From the article:  "This makes it the highest amount of money ever spent for an artwork".....

I thought money was a store of wealth or value?

So it should say:  This makes it the highest dollar amount ever spent for an artwork.  


Thu, 05/03/2012 - 07:01 | 2393232 neidermeyer
neidermeyer's picture

Worthless to me ... you can put a bad image of it from the web in front of a Chinese painting factory crew (the kind that "manufactures" the art you buy at the mall stores) and get hundreds of acceptable copies per hour... The better artists in the group may even be able to make a copy that would fool the casual art enthusiast at a party. 

Thu, 05/03/2012 - 08:35 | 2393349 Blankman
Blankman's picture

"Worthless to me"


Not really the point.  The dollar amount it sold for is irrelevant, meant to make you and I feel "them rich bastards did it again to us, get em..."  


Really great art such as this is meant to make you feel, plain and simple.  That is why this particular piece is used everywhere.  You see it with your eyes, but deep inside your soul also can "see" truly great art.  Something in you stirs, try to listen to that stirring.  It is that part of our mental make up that TV, movies, sports, politics, etc drive out of us.  We should be focusing on the reawakening of our souls if we want to have better lives and yes great art (music, paintings, words, nature) can help to do this. 

Wed, 05/02/2012 - 21:10 | 2392675 navy62802
navy62802's picture

So is the Honus Wagner T206 baseball card. Doesn't mean I'm going to pay $2.8 million for it.

Wed, 05/02/2012 - 22:03 | 2392785 Gully Foyle
Gully Foyle's picture


Yep, FOFOA llisted Art/Wine/Classic Cars/Real estate/Metals as assets which retain value.

SCREAM was missing for two years.

Funny if it were a countrefiet that was sold.

Sunday, 22 August 2004

Scream stolen from Norway museum

Thursday, 31 August 2006

Stolen Munch paintings found safe

Munch painted a number of versions of The Scream

Two masterpieces by artist Edvard Munch have been recovered two years after they were stolen from an Oslo museum.

The Scream and Madonna were found in a police operation. "We are 100% certain they are the originals. The damage was much less than feared," police said.

They had been missing since two armed men ripped them from the wall and threatened staff at the Munch Museum in the Norwegian capital in August 2004.

Thu, 05/03/2012 - 00:03 | 2392975 palmereldritch
palmereldritch's picture

An unknown counterfeit flamboyantly priced in real counterfeits? That would be a scream

Thu, 05/03/2012 - 04:38 | 2393156 Haddock
Haddock's picture

Different version - this one has been held by a Norwegian shipping family for generations

Wed, 05/02/2012 - 22:16 | 2392811 crawldaddy
crawldaddy's picture

only is certain stable economies, in time of war, its just turns into spoils for whoever has the biggest gun.

During WW2, these type paintings neither fed a family, nor protected it.

Wed, 05/02/2012 - 22:13 | 2392804 monkeyboy
monkeyboy's picture

Peak Painting!

Wed, 05/02/2012 - 21:36 | 2392671 LongSoupLine
LongSoupLine's picture

I don't know who the buyer is, but I want royalties 'cause that painting is of me after I saw the latest US debt figures.

Thu, 05/03/2012 - 00:55 | 2393034 wandstrasse
wandstrasse's picture

the screaming face was NOT inspired by you, it was Munch himself, anticipating that some plutocrat ponzi overlord will spend a ludicrous sum for one of his paintings.

Wed, 05/02/2012 - 21:29 | 2392708 WhackoWarner
WhackoWarner's picture

Let us hope that the buyer was appreciative of the art he/she purchased. I am a painter. This is one of the most definitive images existing today. Look at the painting and not at the price.

This image says many things about the state of mind of many people today/the day it was painted and much further about society in general as to how the "masses" feel.

This painting is priceless although not especially pretty. Society today is not exactly pretty either.


artwork like this should be in a museum setting. not private hands.


Wed, 05/02/2012 - 21:31 | 2392713 CH1
CH1's picture

Were it not that a bigger sucker would pay more for it, I wouldn't pay a hundred bucks for that, or put it on my wall.

Thu, 05/03/2012 - 00:45 | 2393023 CvlDobd
CvlDobd's picture

"It belongs in a museum!"

Wed, 05/02/2012 - 21:32 | 2392716 RafterManFMJ
RafterManFMJ's picture

Any news on who the buyer is?


Actually, I am. Cleverly, I put a post-dated check on it for Jan. 2 2014, when I should be earning 400 million dollars per hour.  I'm also trying to take Exxon private the same way.

Wed, 05/02/2012 - 21:47 | 2392754 hidingfromhelis
hidingfromhelis's picture

I didn't do it.  Nobody saw me.  There's no way you can prove anything.

Wed, 05/02/2012 - 21:37 | 2392730 Max Fischer
Max Fischer's picture



The Al Thani family of Qatar is the buyer.


Wed, 05/02/2012 - 22:06 | 2392791 ACP
ACP's picture

No matter, I just found the 5th version in my closet! Bidding starts at $150,000,000!!!

Wed, 05/02/2012 - 23:50 | 2392954 Agent P
Agent P's picture

I just found a print in the gift shop.  Bidding starts at $19.95

Wed, 05/02/2012 - 22:17 | 2392812 monkeyboy
monkeyboy's picture

Peak Painting!

Wed, 05/02/2012 - 23:11 | 2392885 vast-dom
vast-dom's picture

while i realize that this painting in canonical and considered important, i've always considered it B-grade at best. The worst Francis Bacon painting puts this thing to shame. But hey, Green Mountain roasts some fine coffee bean.

Wed, 05/02/2012 - 20:39 | 2392605 SHEEPFUKKER

Will the buyer take delivery or just keep it in a bankster vault somewhere?

Wed, 05/02/2012 - 20:44 | 2392619 A Nanny Moose
A Nanny Moose's picture

If you can't hold it...

Wed, 05/02/2012 - 21:25 | 2392702 TheFourthStooge-ing
TheFourthStooge-ing's picture


Will the buyer take delivery or just keep it in a bankster vault somewhere?

It's already been rehypothecated via several ETFs, all based in the City of London, of course.


Wed, 05/02/2012 - 22:42 | 2392835 Angus McHugepenis
Angus McHugepenis's picture

Neither... he's trying to "hook up" with Mona Lisa to see if the 2 paintings will fuck and produce another $100 million offspring.

The new painting will be called Screaming and Monaing.

Wed, 05/02/2012 - 20:40 | 2392606 HedgeAccordingly
HedgeAccordingly's picture

Wild... the art market is one that has always fascinated me in it's ability to transcend all other economic disparity. wonder what the value of the hopper piece 'nighthawks' would be - 

Wed, 05/02/2012 - 21:06 | 2392665 CPL
CPL's picture

Shows how worthless paper money truely is.  While a showcase in an art movement, there are three year olds that eat paste developing similar art styles.

Wed, 05/02/2012 - 21:35 | 2392723 WhackoWarner
WhackoWarner's picture

Culture is beyond money.  This is, if you see the painting and not the money, a cry from the soul of the artist. Put a Bernanke price on human anguish?

Wed, 05/02/2012 - 21:38 | 2392719 CH1
CH1's picture

The art business is insane. Degenerate artists are rewarded, because they are degenerate. Real artists are ignored.

That said, it allows those of us who aren't interested in impressing idiots to get great deals on the good stuff.

Wed, 05/02/2012 - 21:57 | 2392771 RafterManFMJ
RafterManFMJ's picture

True. I was planning on taking a taco shit on a crucifix in a jar and retiring on the proceeds, but sadly it's already been done.  Hey, I gotsa question for all you TUFF GUYS with ideas like 'Piss Christ'... why don't you pull that stuff but substitue Muhammad?

OOOOooooo why that would never fly, would it? And Hell, that would not sell, nor would it tear down the classical liberalism of the West, right?  And some day, Allah Allah OxenFree would incinerate you...cannot have any edgy art that is actually...edgy, can we? Nope.

My first performance art will be, should the opportunity arise, spitting in a Bankster's face.  I promise prints will be reasonably priced.

Wed, 05/02/2012 - 22:26 | 2392822 Uber Vandal
Uber Vandal's picture

I am very confident that many artists were considered degenerate in their contemporary time, or by a government led by a painter who was not let into the Vienna Academy of Art, and later hailed as genius.




Wed, 05/02/2012 - 20:44 | 2392615 fonzannoon
fonzannoon's picture

Bernanke bought it. The word is he was intoxicated and noisily eating a bag of potato chips while laughing a strange crazy laugh and just kept screaming higher and higher bids even when everyone else stopped. Eventually he stopped at his final bid, looked around the room and said "It's all good, I got this" and then fell asleep while still chewing.

Wed, 05/02/2012 - 20:44 | 2392617 A Nanny Moose
A Nanny Moose's picture

Phat Phinger

Wed, 05/02/2012 - 20:44 | 2392618 Thomas
Thomas's picture

We've got the the second (of two) Walking Man sculptures in our campus museum. It has a broken leg; some lady fell on it. 

Wed, 05/02/2012 - 23:18 | 2392907 Acorn10012
Acorn10012's picture

Are those Thomas' english muffins under the wifebeater?

Wed, 05/02/2012 - 20:45 | 2392620 Seasmoke
Seasmoke's picture


Wed, 05/02/2012 - 20:46 | 2392622 cherry picker
cherry picker's picture

Ludricous is the term that floats in my mind.

Every time masses of people start to suffer or suffer, others do things like this and leaves one wondering what ever became of sanity in this life, if sanity even exists.

Wed, 05/02/2012 - 22:00 | 2392781 RafterManFMJ
RafterManFMJ's picture

I thought the same damn thing! Ludacris.


Yeek yeek woop woop! why you all in my ear?! 
Talking a whole bunch of shit
That I ain't trying to hear! 
Get back motherfucker! You don't know me like that! 

Wed, 05/02/2012 - 20:47 | 2392624 ziggy59
ziggy59's picture

Is it taxable? That's a lot of revenue for NYC.. Cripes I would have to pay almost a third in taxes if I won a large lottery...unless my name is GE, AAPL, Stephen King, etc..

Wed, 05/02/2012 - 20:49 | 2392625 bob_dabolina
bob_dabolina's picture

Who is JLong?

Why is his painting so exceptional?

Wed, 05/02/2012 - 21:38 | 2392734 WhackoWarner
WhackoWarner's picture

Look at the image for a bit.

Most people buy art to match their couch. That is not what an artist does. That is what the ad department does.


This image is exceptional because it conveys a part of the "hidden" human condition. It is madness at the continuance of the "norm"

Wed, 05/02/2012 - 23:42 | 2392944 bob_dabolina
bob_dabolina's picture


The "jlong" in the bottom right corner threw me for a loop.

My bad.

Wed, 05/02/2012 - 20:49 | 2392630 buzzsaw99
buzzsaw99's picture

clownbux for a crappy painting. :yawn:

Wed, 05/02/2012 - 20:52 | 2392632 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

OK/ I'll read this " Guest Post".  Paragraphs and sentence structure, come to mind.

                                                 A noun,plus a, verb; ( pro-noun/ajective), adj; conjunction/ E-BANKSTAS?

   I love all " Mispells"!

Wed, 05/02/2012 - 20:53 | 2392633 bob_dabolina
bob_dabolina's picture

Whoever bought this painting has had a panic attack.

I feel you.

THAT SHIT SUCKS. FUCK panic attacks.

Wed, 05/02/2012 - 20:57 | 2392643 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

 Just like you hate San Diego?  San Diego is the ( ) of business.

Wed, 05/02/2012 - 21:00 | 2392652 bob_dabolina
bob_dabolina's picture

Stalker...ew who are you?

Wed, 05/02/2012 - 21:05 | 2392659 Bay of Pigs
Bay of Pigs's picture

bob, my ZHC isnt working very well. You having any issues?

Wed, 05/02/2012 - 21:08 | 2392669 bob_dabolina
bob_dabolina's picture

If I ignored you, my apologies.

Wed, 05/02/2012 - 21:07 | 2392667 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

  Bob you're killing me.  San Diego is the  ( cul-de-sac) of the world. 

     You don't know me Bob. Relax.

Wed, 05/02/2012 - 21:10 | 2392678 bob_dabolina
bob_dabolina's picture

Thank god. I thought you were stalking me.

Wed, 05/02/2012 - 20:53 | 2392637 ThisIsBob
ThisIsBob's picture

Proceeds of the sale are going to get spent.  More jobs  than if the damn thing just kept hanging on the guy's wall.

Wed, 05/02/2012 - 20:55 | 2392640 krispkritter
krispkritter's picture

They say Justice is blind...I'm thinking 'art collectors' have taken over that 'market'. Because, as we all know, there ain't no justice where money is concerned and you'd have to be blind, dumb, and rich to spend this kind of money on THAT...

Wed, 05/02/2012 - 20:55 | 2392641 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

"Americans, while occasionally willing to be serfs, have always been obstinate about being peasantry."

Wed, 05/02/2012 - 20:55 | 2392642 junkyardjack
junkyardjack's picture

Chinese, bullish

Wed, 05/02/2012 - 21:02 | 2392657 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

 The ( yuan ) curve widening is nothing more than ( internal /banking regulatory dilusion!)

Wed, 05/02/2012 - 20:57 | 2392648 kedi
kedi's picture

Rename it, "Glimpsing Reality".

Wed, 05/02/2012 - 21:04 | 2392660 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

 Simplicity Rules!

Wed, 05/02/2012 - 21:57 | 2392774 SpeakerFTD
SpeakerFTD's picture

Or  "Long Green Mountain" 

Wed, 05/02/2012 - 21:04 | 2392663 nmewn
nmewn's picture

"Missed it by that much."-Maxwell Smart

Wed, 05/02/2012 - 21:09 | 2392670 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

 Any Suggestions? I noticed some " reserves" being called up.

Wed, 05/02/2012 - 21:22 | 2392693 nmewn
nmewn's picture

Any suggestions from me would be done under the Cone of Silence ;-)

Wed, 05/02/2012 - 21:45 | 2392748 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

 {Point taken} Just like the massive loss, I just took.

  Squaring my trades, before the summer.

Wed, 05/02/2012 - 21:09 | 2392673 Dr. Gonzo
Dr. Gonzo's picture

Wrong. Gustav Klimpt's Portrait of Adele Block Bauer I sold for 135 million in 2006 or 07. Also he was a much better artist than Munch and his images were much more compelling and beautiful and probably worth it if you have that kind of  coin IMHO. Shit when oil is $10,000 a bbl it will be money very well spent. I never did like this painting. It's just a famous image that everyone recognizes. That's what give's it it's stupid value. 

Wed, 05/02/2012 - 21:17 | 2392688 streetcrawler
streetcrawler's picture

You're both wrong:

Klimpt's stuff is a lot better, though, you are right about that.

Wed, 05/02/2012 - 21:30 | 2392710 palmereldritch
Wed, 05/02/2012 - 21:37 | 2392732 Dr. Gonzo
Dr. Gonzo's picture

Nope. I'm still right. We're not talking inflation adjusted dollars we are talking about real dollars being plunked down. Da Vinci is far down on my list of favorite painters. Van Eyck is number 1 in my book and his stuff would fetch mega coin if it ever came for sale. Check out this painting. I had a life size 6 x 5 foot oil replica painted for my crib. No bullshit. Van der Waden was the man too. 

Wed, 05/02/2012 - 22:28 | 2392826 Angus McHugepenis
Angus McHugepenis's picture

Rodney Dangerfield in a scene from the movie "Back to School" during a party at his house (wife played by Adrienne Barbeau).

Guest: "Your wife was just showing us her Klimpt"

Rodney: "What, you too"?!

The way to a woman's heart is through her Klimpt.

Wed, 05/02/2012 - 21:45 | 2392750 WhackoWarner
WhackoWarner's picture

I strongly disagree.


Pretty does not necessarily express truth. Klimpt I adore. Munch was expressing visually an idea that I hear voiced here daily.  Lokk at this before you say " I don't like it. It does not match my decor". Since when is pretty the only accepted expression? Your viewa are shallow in the sense that if the image makes you uncomfortable, if it is not pretty, then the artist is not worth it.  Come on.

Wed, 05/02/2012 - 21:51 | 2392762 WhackoWarner
WhackoWarner's picture

This painting; this image; this artist did not intend for his work to make yoyu feel comfortable or to match your curtains and walls.  Happy ignorance is bliss day. Perhaps puppies playing poker is up this blog's alley?

Wed, 05/02/2012 - 22:29 | 2392827 Dr. Gonzo
Dr. Gonzo's picture

Piss off you dumb shit. Most people buy art to admire and display and because it's pleasing to them and evokes emotions that they want to feel or causes them to wonder what the artist was trying to convey. People in general don't by gastly horid things to hang in their house. I have never cared for this painting. I don't deny it's famous or important and for a couple hundred bucks you can have the this cliche copied and hanging in your home and you can look at it every day. Let me guess. You're a tortured artist who never sold a painting but not because your horrible because the public just doesn't have any taste. 

Wed, 05/02/2012 - 22:44 | 2392843 WonderDawg
WonderDawg's picture

I disagree. True art connisseurs (sp?) buy art because it moves them in some visceral, sublime way. And as you say, it evokes emotions, but not all emotions are happy or pleasant, and it doesn't mean they don't satisfy the desire to relate.

Wed, 05/02/2012 - 23:04 | 2392870 Dr. Gonzo
Dr. Gonzo's picture

Well. This painting evokes in me on the viceral level the urgency of getting to a toilette for an emergency release of diarrhea. Plus it's among the most simple of famous works and worse it's become a cliche. You could show it to any hoople head in America and they would know the title of it. That doesn't make it great. It just makes it a famous recognizible image. 

Thu, 05/03/2012 - 02:34 | 2393102 Cathartes Aura
Cathartes Aura's picture

not to be pedantic, but after reading "Klimpt" in a few posts, I had to say. . .

it's Gustav Klimt.

big fan of his style / work - and love his fellow Austrian (via New Zealand), Hundertwasser. . .

must be the. . . water?

Wed, 05/02/2012 - 21:11 | 2392680 Goldilocks
Goldilocks's picture

Misery loves company... apparently $119,922,500 worth.

Wed, 05/02/2012 - 21:23 | 2392698 Yes_Questions
Yes_Questions's picture



Funds acquired on the misery of others used to acquire a representation of acute awakening to...the misery of others?



Wed, 05/02/2012 - 21:52 | 2392765 WhackoWarner
WhackoWarner's picture

I paint. I paint for me.

If  had 120 million to spend without thought; I would have bought this too.

Thu, 05/03/2012 - 00:16 | 2392991 John Law Lives
John Law Lives's picture

"If had 120 million to spend without thought; I would have bought this too."

If so, your values are seriously out of whack.  If I had 120 million to spend without thought, I would use it to make a sincere effort to improve the human condition rather than use it to buy a piece of fabric with paint on it.  I would also contribute generously to Ron Paul and Rand Paul in their endeavor to save this country.

Wed, 05/02/2012 - 21:12 | 2392681 insanelysane
insanelysane's picture

The scariest thing is that there must have been at least 1 other bidder that has $118 million for art and was willing to pay $118 million for it.

Wed, 05/02/2012 - 21:16 | 2392686 akak
akak's picture

I knew just how the guy in this painting feels the last time I filled up the 35 gallon gas tank in my pickup.

Thu, 05/03/2012 - 00:50 | 2393029 CvlDobd
CvlDobd's picture

Which is what makes this piece so appealing. People should be able to relate.

Wed, 05/02/2012 - 21:17 | 2392687 Yes_Questions
Yes_Questions's picture



The Great Scream in Nature was premonition of all the trees felled for the presses in order to facilitate this successful bid.


and/or construction of gallows.



Wed, 05/02/2012 - 21:23 | 2392700 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

 I just closed all my long currency trades, other than my yen/sterling trades.  the markets are ready to short. I'm selling tops!

Wed, 05/02/2012 - 21:23 | 2392701 Orly
Orly's picture

I have always noticed an imminent market crash has been harbinged by fantastic sales in art.  Being compared to the last go-round of ultimate excess, check it out

In January Christie’s New York offered an extraordinary collection that totaled $26,276,500. At Christie’s London in July, rare drawing—a masterpiece by Leonardo da Vinci, Horse and Rider—sold for a resounding £8,143,750 (about $11,533,000), a record for a Leonardo.

Year?  Oh, you know: two thousand ought one.

It's coming...


Wed, 05/02/2012 - 21:33 | 2392715 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

You are brilliant Orly!

Wed, 05/02/2012 - 21:27 | 2392707 scatterbrains
scatterbrains's picture

sorry all you sophisticated art connoisseurs out there but this painting sucks ass no matter how hard you try to convince yourself otherwise and despite everyone you've admired and listened too in the art market.  Sorry but it had to be said. If I've offended you..  bite me.

Wed, 05/02/2012 - 21:37 | 2392726 Hansel
Hansel's picture

When you start talking about art 'worth' $120 million, it has nothing to do with quality art and everything to do with rich assholes thinking someone else thinks a piece is valuable and wants to hold it over them.  This 'art' is a f'n joke.  There are plenty of excellent starving artists today whose work is far more creative.  Again, this is just a rich asshole who had $120 million too much money and a terrible sense of taste and value.

Wed, 05/02/2012 - 22:04 | 2392786 WhackoWarner
WhackoWarner's picture

What you say is simply not true. If the art makes you uncomfortable then it accomplished it's purpose.

Do you think the artist painted this with $120 million in mind?

The artist painted this to illustrate an emotion that is prevelant in these comments on Zero Hedge.

I have seen some Dali (Guernica) that convey the same human condition.

There i something here you are apparently not capable of decorating your apartment around.,

It would be too much for you to actually consider this as the work of a human soul.

Wed, 05/02/2012 - 23:23 | 2392913 Jena
Jena's picture

"Guernica" is a moving piece, though I'm not really a fan of Picasso.  (Not Dali.)

Yeah, art is meant to move in many ways and not all of them positive.  And some people choose art to decorate around.


What I wonder is what work will be around one hundred years from now.  I wager it won't be Jeff Koons. Julien Schnabel or Damien Hirst.  

Wed, 05/02/2012 - 21:31 | 2392712 John Law Lives
John Law Lives's picture

Looks like this episode pushes the greater fool theory to the extreme.

Good luck finding real value in a piece of fabric with paint arrayed on it after the great R-E-S-E-T button gets pressed and a bite of food is worth more than a wheelbarrow full of paper currency.

Wed, 05/02/2012 - 22:06 | 2392789 WhackoWarner
WhackoWarner's picture

Good luck finding any value in your comment.

Wed, 05/02/2012 - 23:37 | 2392934 John Law Lives
John Law Lives's picture

You have eyes but fail to see, and ears but fail to hear.


Wed, 05/02/2012 - 21:34 | 2392718 Vendetta
Vendetta's picture

easier to buy than 75,000 ounces to gold.  The buyer didn't want to get MF global'd.

Wed, 05/02/2012 - 21:36 | 2392729 Dapper Dan
Dapper Dan's picture

I can't belive i'm the first to say this but Art is in a period of "irrational exuberance"


Wed, 05/02/2012 - 21:40 | 2392737 DanDaley
DanDaley's picture

Now I just can't decide where to hang it -I was thinking about maybe between portraits of Bernank and Geithner.  Whaddya think?

Wed, 05/02/2012 - 22:01 | 2392783 Hansel
Hansel's picture

How about on the wall facing the toilet.  The look of shock and surprise everytime you take a dump would be hilarious.

Wed, 05/02/2012 - 22:07 | 2392792 WhackoWarner
WhackoWarner's picture

PERFECT. I think that is the most sstute, mindless, comment I have read. That is where it belongs.

Wed, 05/02/2012 - 21:40 | 2392739 Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

So I'm guessing he's not interested in the Thomas Kincade I bought at the flea market last year.

Wed, 05/02/2012 - 21:59 | 2392779 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

 Need I post charts? I just took a massive hit/ to prove a point!  If you wish? I shall post?    Sticks or candals?<

  Charts of comparison?

Wed, 05/02/2012 - 21:42 | 2392742 razorthin
razorthin's picture

What a pretentious ass clown.  Tax that fukker 80%.

Wed, 05/02/2012 - 21:45 | 2392749 Careless Whisper
Careless Whisper's picture

I say well bought. In fifty years $119 million won't buy you a grande caramel latte.


Wed, 05/02/2012 - 21:48 | 2392755 flacorps
flacorps's picture

Screamin' deal!

Wed, 05/02/2012 - 21:49 | 2392757 ABG LINE
ABG LINE's picture

Charmin Chairmin !   ROFL !!!!

Wed, 05/02/2012 - 22:06 | 2392787 walküre
walküre's picture

Who was the seller? Sotheby's is just the facilitator of the sale.

Was this part of a public asset? If there's that much money out there to pay for art, why can't Greece pay her bills?

Wed, 05/02/2012 - 22:13 | 2392800 WhackoWarner
WhackoWarner's picture

I am hoping that saner heads prevail at some point.

This artwork is priceless, though the image makes many uncomfortable. I will not attempt to explain why this is a human treasure.

Suffice to say many of the comments about something this rare still revolve around money. This is the point, or one of the points. of this frustrated image.

Perhaps the artist was going mad listening to the never-ending din of money, me-me crap here.

Wed, 05/02/2012 - 22:45 | 2392847 Cabreado
Cabreado's picture

While artistic talent is appreciated by many,

maybe in a silent way by most, even...

this painting is a "human treasure" to a handful of people in the real world.

This piece of art has attained a market value much like anything else -- it, however, has nothing to do with reality.

Sometimes, the rubber actually hits the road...

and this is a place where artwork is always well and good, but a distraction nonetheless.

I ask you to explain why:

this "human treasure" and the "value" that it represents to a handful  -- usurps reality.

Thu, 05/03/2012 - 02:31 | 2393100 walküre
walküre's picture

You didn't answer my question. Who sold the picture?

Wed, 05/02/2012 - 22:08 | 2392795 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

 I just closed 2 trades tah cost me 200K in losses! I did it because i believe, the trades are headed SOUTH!

Wed, 05/02/2012 - 22:10 | 2392796 williambanzai7
williambanzai7's picture

Technically it is a pastel on paper which makes it all the more remarkable. Such high prices are typically reserved for oils on canvas.

Wed, 05/02/2012 - 23:10 | 2392887 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

 You've done well (Bonzai).  Refer to my ( lower post).

   I'm Granite!

Wed, 05/02/2012 - 22:12 | 2392801 Angus McHugepenis
Angus McHugepenis's picture

Bidding starts at a $1.50. Let's see if we can't shame that Scream back to where it came from.

Wed, 05/02/2012 - 22:18 | 2392813 crawldaddy
crawldaddy's picture

and the winner is... the auction house, how many millions did they make in a matter of minutes.

Wed, 05/02/2012 - 22:28 | 2392824 URZIZMINE
URZIZMINE's picture

It's a picture of how I reacted when my wife said "I am bored. Let's do it".

Wed, 05/02/2012 - 22:35 | 2392834 michelp
michelp's picture

A better deal than the $400,000. (asking) for the Babe Ruth baseball cap coming up for sale!

Wed, 05/02/2012 - 22:39 | 2392837 Uchtdorf
Uchtdorf's picture

How did they quit at $119,922,500?

Bidder A: $119,920,000

Bidder B: $119,921,000

Bidder A: $119,922,000

Bidder B: $119,922,500

Bidder A: I'm out.

Bidder B: Whew! I didn't have another grand to spend.

Wed, 05/02/2012 - 23:36 | 2392931 Kiwi Pete
Kiwi Pete's picture

Yeah, bidder A's wife is gonna be pissed. No nookie for you tonight!

Wed, 05/02/2012 - 22:54 | 2392860 outtahouston
outtahouston's picture

told my kids (9 & 5) this painting sold tonight for over$100M ... pause as it loads ... ewwwhhhh!!  that's terrible!!

So I said, hey you're making fun of something that someone just paid over $100M for, doesn't it make you think, and wonder, just why would a famous artist think that painting might appeal to people ... and the response, "cause he's some sick wacko".

Nuff said.  tomorrow we put their interpreations on ebay.  expecting whatever they come up with should be worth between $80M-$120M easy.

Wed, 05/02/2012 - 23:07 | 2392873 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

  Pablo Picasso was brilliant!   I deeply enjoy his " artwork".    I enjoy " Paul Gauguin" as well!

   The French/ Itialian ( artisans) , are beyond reproach!

Wed, 05/02/2012 - 23:24 | 2392910 wee-weed up
wee-weed up's picture

I think the painting has become an icon image for portraying the fucked-up world global gubbermints have left individuals in. As to its value or worth - just like everything else - it's whatever someone else is willing to pay for it at the time. But of course, when TSHTF, it's totally absolutely worthless.

Thu, 05/03/2012 - 00:10 | 2392985 Scalaris
Scalaris's picture

What in the fuck has this world come to?

Fuck all 20th century shit-addled and apparently post-talent art movements such as expressionism -appart from El Greco, van Gogh and a couple of de Kooning's work- and the rest of the avant-garde post-modern fucking excuses.

And as for Munch's work, I'm dying to hear any sort of logical argument for throwing $120 million at this unholy monstrosity.

Seriously it would make more sense to buy a fucking replica of a French Chateaux, have Jeff Koons cover it with multicoloured portraits of Cicciolina fellating him, and then fill it up with enough C4 explosives to turn it into a colorful confetti.


Thu, 05/03/2012 - 00:56 | 2393035 obejoyful
obejoyful's picture

This marked the top of the market, people will look back at this generation with disgust.   You mean that painting sold for 120 mil, share of aapl $600, and pcln $700 wasn't this after they had gone though a internet bubble and a housing bubble.  What were they thinking?

Thu, 05/03/2012 - 01:02 | 2393044 devo
devo's picture

That Alberto Giacometti sculpture is heinous.

Thu, 05/03/2012 - 01:10 | 2393051 yogibear
yogibear's picture

Amazing. Looks like some kid in a elementy school drew it with a box of crayons. Someone has more money than they know what to do with it. Maybe a Rothschild or Rockefeller.

Thu, 05/03/2012 - 01:38 | 2393080 boiltherich
boiltherich's picture

That there are individuals who have 120 million to spend on a single painting is the best testament that we under tax the rich.  I am not going to be happy until a painting or an estate goes for 120,000.  And keep your venomous replies to yourself.  The guy that bought that single canvas can buy countries. 

It makes me sad that this painting sold for 120 million.  A single bit of cloth 36" by 23".  I hear how the government can't afford to pay medical bills or how there is no inflation, that unemployment is 20 % but some dirtbag billionaire just has to have this one painting and writes a check for 120 million.  He can't write a check for taxes and the common good, but by god he has 120 million for a bit of oil on canvas.  God forbid that he actually helped real people in real lives, you know how far that kind of money would have gone in the real world?  How many lives it could have changed for the better?

In this economy this is a major misallocation of capital and proof that TPTB have zero interest in the common man.  And as much as I hate to admit this it is time to get in their faces, not with occupy movements, not with G20 protests, not with buying gold or silver, just stay at home.  If man, if you are serious about fixing society then just stay at home.  Refuse to go to work, refuse to buy, go on strike, get in their faces. 

I just did something like that, a punk was revving his engine showing his buddies how nice and loud his new "muffler" made his car.  I went and got right in his face and told him what white trash he was, how he was disturbing the lives of people in 106 apartments, he was going to hit me but his friend held him back, I called him what he was, white trash.  He was so high on his great car and how loud it was, then along comes some old asshole to give him shit about it, he will still have a loud car, but now he knows that he is offending and he will always have to be thinking about going too far.  It will destroy his enjoyment of his super loud car.  Same goes for the fucktards with all the money.  Get in their face and show them how hated they are, be not afraid of them.  Yep, they will still have all the money, but they will not be able to enjoy it.

Thu, 05/03/2012 - 02:29 | 2393099 walküre
walküre's picture

I would give you 1000 up arrows if I could.

You're real and I like what you're saying. Rich assholes with absolutely no regard for anyone else but themselves. The world is full of them and too many of the 99% are licking their boots, adoring their lifestyles and worshipping their greed.

The excesses of the 1% are grotesque. The math doesn't make sense. To allow them their spoiled rich lives is a detriment to all mankind. There is a reason heads were rolling a few hundred years ago.

Thu, 05/03/2012 - 06:00 | 2393192 Bastiat009
Bastiat009's picture

boiltherich .. you sound like a communist who believes that spending your money as you wish is bad for you and the world. That is stupid.

The money spent to purchase the painting is not leaving the world, it will be spent on things and stuff ...

Thu, 05/03/2012 - 09:01 | 2393415 PaperWillBurn
PaperWillBurn's picture

The buyer is probably a super producer. Someone who has brought value into this world and is looking for a place to store his wealth. It's not all about looking at a nice painting, it's about protecting what you have, and being able to pass it down.


Boiltherich must think $'s hold value that expire as soon as it's traded for an object.

Thu, 05/03/2012 - 02:22 | 2393098 bob_dabolina
bob_dabolina's picture

No one can relate this painting like me,


Thu, 05/03/2012 - 03:08 | 2393117 cnhedge
cnhedge's picture

US Daily: 2012 US April Payroll Preview: Sluggish

Thu, 05/03/2012 - 04:12 | 2393147 Clowns to the l...
Clowns to the left_ jokers to the right's picture

Is that 4,548.9 years at the median salary before or after taxes? If it's before taxes, tack on another 900 years or so.

Thu, 05/03/2012 - 04:35 | 2393153 I_Am_
I_Am_'s picture

Apart from the 119.922500 mio, still no answer to Bob_D question of who is JLong 2004 on the railing in the bottom right corner of the picture???? 

Thu, 05/03/2012 - 06:42 | 2393219 Confundido
Confundido's picture

No algo can sell this painting en masse, abruptly, at the fix. Therefore, it is worth owning it!

Thu, 05/03/2012 - 07:08 | 2393237 DVDBeaver
DVDBeaver's picture
£160m Cézanne: Highest price ever for a painting as Qatari royal family trumps world dealers for The Card Players Read more:
Thu, 05/03/2012 - 07:15 | 2393246 overmedicatedun...
overmedicatedundersexed's picture

Ben prints and the true value of paper fiat is exposed in inflated prices for this art. those who have a viseral disgust at this mis allocation of money have  expressed that this is a selfish use of fiat taken to extreme.

the main pointt, as I see it: this amount of wealth used in this manner shows a cruel disregard to the proper use of wealth.. that is, to produce a positive growth in wealth which can benefit society..used to start business to employ others or to provide those without the means a way to create new jobs and wealth for society,

this sale benefits so very few , it could have benefited so many more. I look at this with disgust as it has deminished a great work of art to a crude and self absorbed horror.

Thu, 05/03/2012 - 07:56 | 2393282 rsnoble
rsnoble's picture

I hate buyers premiums. A lot of times I will avoid those auctions all together unless there's something I really want.  Auctioneer's already making 30%, now they want 10% on top of that?  They know the seller will never agree to 40% but most buyers will put up with 10%.  Probably not a bad business to be in but takes a lot of time to establish a reputation.

Thu, 05/03/2012 - 08:56 | 2393402 PaperWillBurn
PaperWillBurn's picture

It's a method of wealth preservation for the super rich and it's easily transportable. Just anothe rplace to stick large sums of money when other options are drying up.


Thu, 05/03/2012 - 09:05 | 2393419 sbenard
sbenard's picture

So THAT'S where those Bernanke bucks are going!

Thu, 05/03/2012 - 14:38 | 2394754 Pizza man
Pizza man's picture

Earth to Tyler..Since when did ALL accumulation of weath become subject to your cross hairs treatment?


The Free Market should be less free for some?

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