22nd October, Sunday : Clown of the Week # 7

All of us have heard this being said quite often. You know, about how Geniuses are never recognized in their lifetime…? Am not too sure about that. It places all the blame on us mortals for not “recognizing” them, doesn’t it? What I say is that if you are a real genius, then you must take the responsibility of creating something that makes sense to the common man. My view is that an actual genius would never go about working on the Theory of Relativity or Impressionism……who cares for stuff like that? I say – Give me an electric toothbrush that also doubles up as a fire extinguisher and THEN, I know you are a genius, in this very lifetime……..anything else and you are just kidding yourself.

Take for instance, the case of Vincent van Gogh. The Dutch painter guy. He worked so hard to create hundreds of paintings, thousands of sketches, murals, went on to inspire the school of painting named Expressionism and what happened – dude died at the age of 37 due to starvation. And all that people remembered of him is that he cut his left ear off !!!

And he only has himself to blame. I mean, what’s with the obsession with nature and landscapes? The Cavemen drew pictures of animals. Medieval art – again lots of animals and green fields. The Renaissance. And still with the landscapes and lakes and the Sun. Then the impressionists, the surrealists, the whole lot of them – the obsession with painting cows with a meadow in the background remains. And THEN, they blame us for not appreciating art. Yeah, right!!! That’s why we never see any shepherds or farmers or fishermen at any of these art galleries. if they want to see an amazing likeness of the Sun peeping out of the clouds early in the morning – they just need to get out of their tents.

Can someone please explain to me why art aficionados can afford to spend astronomical sums to buy a painting by Da Vinci and yet bitch about the price of gasoline creeping up to $3? What’s up with that? What is the big deal about paying over 100 million for a Picasso and hanging it on your wall to impress people? Here’s a better idea. How about getting that cheque for 100 million dollars framed and puttin’ it up on the wall instead? I bet most people have never seen a cheque for 100 million in their lives. Would be equally impressive, I tell you. ‘Oooooooooo….look at that….it’s a cheque for 100 million dollars…….wow…..Mom!!!…..come over here……you HAVE to see this…’

Speaking of which, this week’s ‘Clown of the Week’ is………………….Steve Wynn.

Let me explain. He is a Las Vegas gaming tycoon. But that’s not the good part. He had managed to convince one of those art connoisseurs, (Steve Cohen in this case) to buy a Picasso painting that he owned, for no less than $139 million !!!!!!!

No kidding. He bought it in 1998 for 48 million and had agreed to sell it off for 139 million. That sounds like an awesome deal, you say. Hardly makes him the COTW, you argue. But hear me out first. The night before that deal was going to go through, Wynn had been talking about the painting and proudly showing it to friends when he accidentally poked his elbow through the canvas, according to witnesses. That’s right. The dude put a hole in the canvas.

“There was a terrible noise,” writes Nora Ephron, who saw the accident at Wynn’s office in his hotel-casino Wynn in Las Vegas. “Oh shit,” she quoted him as saying. “Look what I’ve done … thank God it was me.”

The worst part – This was the most money ever paid for a painting and it topped by four million dollars the record price paid for a Klimt by cosmetics magnate Ronald Lauder earlier this year. Now, the deal is off, obviously. Afterward, Wynn said to his friends: “This has nothing to do with money. The money means nothing to me. It’s that I had this painting in my care and I’ve damaged it.”

Yes, you have. But on the plus side, you won the award this week. Hope it cheers you up somewhat :-))

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