Selling Artwork to the Highest Emotion

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Words by Billie Jenkins Image YouTube Still

Saddened by the repeated headline ‘Largest fee of its kind made at Christies’, and the trend for Oligarchs to stock pile the paintings that make you cry in warehouses full of paintings that made other people cry, the collective cost of which could pay off the payday debts of a million single mums and end real, daily tears that have nothing to with art but life itself? So was Swedish glassware company Kosta Boda. Disillusioned with the routine of big price tags keeping art away from those who would love, cherish, have and hold their artworks for richer or poorer, they ran an auction where the winner was the individual who had the most emotional response to the piece. “It doesn’t really matter if you feel happy about it, or if you feel sad, or angry … just don’t be monotone, or just feel something at least,” said Daniel Solving who worked on the project. The works, which ranged from $1,900 to $15,000, ended up in the hands of people who could never have afforded to take them home had cash exchanged hands. Participants were hooked up to a machine which measured their heart rate and skins response during viewing. We just wish our invitation hadn’t got lost in the post.

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