The court valued an art trick with empty canvases by a Danish artist at 67,000 euros24.09.2023 | 11:00 |
A performance with blank canvases called “Take the Money and Run” cost conceptual artist Jens Haaning a pretty penny. A court in Denmark ordered him to pay 67,000 thousand euros to the Kunsten Museum of Contemporary Art in the city of Aalborg for an unfulfilled order, euronews says.
To everyone’s surprise, the author provided two large empty canvases as “painted” paintings and called them “Take the Money and Run.” In fact, the work was supposed to be lined with kroner banknotes, as a symbol of the income of the Danish population. In the art world, Haaning is known for his works dedicated to the problems of poverty, inequality, migration and which have won the hearts of art lovers. All the more unexpected was his outburst.
And yet, the paintings subsequently began to be exhibited and attracted many curious visitors. But the museum asked Haaning to return the money and, when he refused, the management went to court. According to the decision, the artist must return the grant of 67,000 euros to the museum, but can keep a fee of 3,500 euros.
Haaning himself called his act a trick, a kind of protest against difficult working conditions. “If workers are sitting in some terrible job and they are not getting paid for it, then my advice is to grab what you can and run,” he commented.
Jens Haaning is not the only controversial artist. Similar art tricks and even cooler ones have happened before. It just added to a long list of creations and performances in which masters of the brush emphasized the absurdity, hypocrisy and elitism that were by no means alien to the world of art.
I especially remember the shocking incident that occurred in 2018. Banksy's work "Girl with a Balloon" was auctioned at Sotheby's for 1.28 million euros. After the sale, the work slowly slipped out of the frame and was cut into strips by a shredder installed by the author in the frame itself. Despite the fact that the painting was in fact destroyed, the buyer paid the specified amount for it.