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Experiencing the World’s Most Expensive Paintings in Indianapolis

Posted by: Kenan Farrell
Posted: May 2, 2011
Categories: Uncategorized

May in Indy. There’s no better place to be. Sunshine takes over, all of these April showers turn into May flowers and the racetrack kicks into gear. Anybody that has been here to experience May in Indy knows what I’m talking about and yet no amount of words can describe it properly to someone who hasn’t.

This phenomenon of “You just have to be there” is commonly encountered in the art world. For example, take a few moments to check out the five most expensive paintings in the world:

  1. No. 5, 1948 by Jackson Pollock
  2. Woman III by Willem de Kooning
  3. Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer 1 by Gustav Klimt
  4. Portrait of Dr. Gachet by Vincent Van Gogh
  5. Bal du moulin de la Galette by Pierre-August Renoir

What do you think? Love them? Hate them?

First, I think it’s truly remarkable that anyone, anywhere, anytime (with wifi) can now view images of the most valuable and important treasures of human culture. Historically, this privilege was restricted to the extremely wealthy and occassionally granted to the general population via museums. As the great “Google provenance” continues, more and more art treasures become available to all. And that’s generally good.

But there’s obviously something very different between seeing an image and “experiencing” a work of art. Though the title of this post may indicate otherwise, I don’t think that we’re truly experiencing the world’s most expensive paintings by looking at images online. Setting, size, senses and so much more go into the experience of art. Like trying to describe May in Indy with words, images can only relay part of an artwork’s message. I hope that, once the world’s art collection is available from the couch, people don’t start to replace the experience of art with the viewing of images. Because it’s no substitute.

Fortunately, Indianapolis is a great place to get out and experience art. Whether IMA’s 100 Acres, IDADA’s First Friday Art Tour, the Penrod Art Fair, Indy’s upcoming Murals Program or more, there are plenty of opportunities to get out amongst art. Here are some May activities you won’t want to miss:

See you at the galleries. Kenan

*image is “Benefits Supervisor Sleeping” by Lucian Freud, valued at $33.6m, the world auction record for a living artist.

Kenan L. Farrell advises business owners, non-profits, entrepreneurs and artists on business and intellectual property (copyright, trademark, patent) issues. He is on the Board of Directors of the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library and is the current Vice-President of IDADA. You can read more from him over at the Indiana Intellectual Property & Technology Law Blog. Follow on Twitter @KLFLegal

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