Is This Elderly Artist Being Patronized?
12:00 pm, December 18th | by Sarah Devlin
Sarah: Okay. So I laughed along with the rest of the world at the botched fresco. But now that this woman is selling her artwork for $1400 on eBay I have to wonder — is she being taken advantage of? Or am I being patronizing?
Laura: How do you think she was taken advantage of? She didn’t get enough money for it?
Sarah: Not necessarily…just, like, are her paintings being bought as a joke? And does she know that?
Laura: Yeah, but at the same time — she is making money off them. And any publicity is good publicity, right? I don’t think she’s being taken advantage of.
Sarah: Yeah. That makes me wonder if I’m the patronizing one, you know?
Laura: I don’t think so!
Sarah: Like, I’m assuming this woman is too naive to know “the real reason” why people want to buy her art .
Laura: Maybe she doesn’t know. I mean, it’s not your first instinct to assume people buy your stuff to laugh at you.
Sarah: True! Also, are you surprised that her painting sold for that much? Internet jokes don’t usually have this long of a shelf life.
Laura: Well, some people have a lot of money to throw away — think of that ‘Rich Kids On Instagram’ meme, to name another short-lived internet joke. I certainly don’t have that kind of money to blow, or any money to waste. But some people do so I guess it’s not a hugggeee surprise!
Sarah: And I guess since, as the article says, the botched fresco has been used on T-shirts and stuff, why shouldn’t she make some money off the phenomenon? Although she’s donating it to charity; she does seem like a sweet lady.
Laura: Yeah, exactly. At least money is going to charity.
Sarah: But for real — do you think the painting is any good? $1400 worth of good?
Laura: Better than anything I could do!
Sarah: How much would you pay for it?
Laura: I would not buy it. The last piece of art I bought wwas $20 from the Union Square Christmas market.
Sarah: Yeah I would never spend $1400 on a painting. But if it was $20?
Sarah: And you could own a piece of internet history!
Laura: Not really my thing though — that type of painting.
Sarah: Me either. I do think it’s cool that since the money is going to charity it’s probably a sign that this lady knows her 15 minutes will be up soon.
Sarah: Well ultimately, good for her! I started out thinking this story was kind of embarrassing but my mind has been changed.
Laura: Good! It’s really not that bad: someone is getting helped out of it.
Sarah: True! I can’t complain.
[Photo via BBC]