I’m feeling a little art history today. So, I thought I’d go over some abstract art stuff. When I was in art college, all too often I’ve heard people ask me what the meaning is behind abstract art.
Phrases such as, “I could paint that” or worse yet, “My 5-year-old could paint that” are deemed ignorant to the art community. And despite being an artist myself and having been provided the tools to understand abstract art, I don’t know which side I’m on.
I love it and think the world needs it. But I also absolutely hate it as well.
I appreciate the concepts and its visual interest, but I absolutely despise the unimaginable price tags that go along with some of
this shit these paintings.
Here are 10 very expensive masterpieces that you would never be able to afford but you could probably copy on a weekend and hang up in your living room.
1. Piet Mondrian – Composition C, 1929
First on the list is this colorful piece that will add play and cheer to your living room. To master the Mondrian, you will need a lot of painter’s tape. The primary colors of red, blue and yellow (if you have forgotten) are structured carefully in jail-like cells and serves as a commentary on Mondrian’s view of society. Which could mean segregation of different classes and perhaps even a commentary on the segregation of race, which would explain all the white in the painting. I would say give it 3 hours tops.
2. Barnett Newman – Onement VI, 1952
My art history teacher would reject that I was ever his student if he came across this article. He was completely in love with this painting and what it represents. Okay, I get it, Onement is such a cool concept – the one painting to rule them all. But in my opinion, it is kind of ironic that you name a painting Onement and you make six of them. The hardest foreseeable part in recreating this painting to me is getting line really straight from the top to the bottom on the canvas, which is supposed to represent a zipper by the way, go figure.
3. Pablo Picasso – Le Rêve, 1932
Ah, now we’re getting serious. Pablo Picasso, one of the most revered artist geniuses of our time. La Rêve was once part of casino mogul Steve Wynn’s private collection and he had agreed to sell it to Steven Cohen. Whilst showing it off, he accidentally drove his elbow through it, damaging the painting. After the painting was repaired for $90,000, and following a series of undisclosed private meetings, Wynn sold the painting to Cohen as planned. Even after being damaged and repaired, Le Rêve is reportedly the most expensive Picasso painting ever sold at 139-million dollars. You will need to take your time in recreating your own copy of this. But imagine how worth it will be when you tell your friends the interesting story behind it and show off your knowledge of the arts.
4. Mark Rothko – No. 17, 1957
Mark Rothko is famous for painting imperfect rectangles. Obtaining that right amount of dry brushing will prove to be the difficult in copying this painting. The peaceful, harmonic colors of Rothko’s work would definitely add visual interest to your living room or bedroom, and it would be worth the 1 to 2 hours you spend on it. Once you have mastered dry brushing No.17, you may advance your skills and try your hand at copying Orange, Red, Yellow (valued at 86-million dollars).
5. Jackson Pollock – No 5, 1948, or any of the Pollock paintings really
Whenever I saw movies of this guy paint in art school, I got the shivers. But then again, seeing someone frantically splashing and dribbling paint everywhere like a madmen would do that to just about anyone. Also, his name Jackson Pollock sounds like a character from a horror story – e.g. Jack-the-Ripper, Mad Max and Jackson Pollock. All jokes aside, his paintings would be tricky to copy as it would be most likely impossible to get paint to drip the same way.
6. Josef Albers – Homage to the Square: White Nimbus, 1959
I really like the title White Nimbus. Albers does a whole bunch of these. He must really like squares; you could even say that he is obsessed. Maybe he was teased for being a square a little too much that he decided he would play a horrible joke on the world about it by creating these paintings one after another of squares within squares, within squares. Only, it wasn’t a joke and his paintings are worth a lot more than my life insurance would ever pay out if I were to die. Okay, I lied, I don’t have life insurance because it costs too much, but if I did (!) they wouldn’t pay that much for my life because apparently my life is worth less than this painting of squares. Wow, what a realization.
7. Kenneth Noland – Circle, 1958
Here’s a painting of circles, worth $2.1-million dollars. *facepalm*
8. William de Kooning – Interchange, 1955
Worth: $300-MILLION (what does that even mean?!)
It would be a crime to leave this painting out of the list. Ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce the most expensive painting ever sold to date. At 300-million (yes, you read that right), Dutch painter William de Kooning’s Interchange was sold to hedge fund manager Ken Griffith in September 2015. De Kooning’s work is highly revered in the art world for the ideology and commentary behind it, which I can honestly say after years of art history classes – I think it’s something about movement and lots of feeling. It will be tricky to get the smudged oil painterly look on this one, so I suggest using crayons and a hairdryer. Just get creative with it. I’m sure de Kooning’s expressive spirit will be pleased.
9. Wassily Kandinsky – Schluss (Conclusion)
I like this one. It reminds me of Pink Flloyd’s album cover from The Dark Side of The Moon for some reason. Circles, squares and a badass title – what more could you want from an abstract expressionist? Russian artist Kandinsky was a spiritual man, with a philosopher’s heart. As a result, he thought a lot about colors and shapes and what they meant. Pyramids meant the spirituality of man, and yellow is a terrestrial color. If you have the time to read up on it, some of his ideology behind it, is pretty interesting.
10. Yves Klein – Untitled Blue Monochrome, 1956
If all else fails, and you really can’t draw a straight line to save your life and you are really just that artistically challenged, do what Yves Klein did. Just paint the whole darn thing blue, and don’t even bother giving it a title. Honestly, the title Untitled Blue Monochrome is really just synonymous with Blue Blob. He must have really wanted to show that he didn’t care – must be a French minimalist thing.
- Art history books that I’ve sold to pay back my student loan
- Art history lectures I fell asleep at
- My fallible memory
- And some of the following links: