FEBRUARY 7, 2013: 45 MILLION DOLLAR PICASSO PAINTING OR EVERY ONE OF YOUR CAR GUY DREAMS FULFILLED?

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A Picasso painting of his girlfriend recently sold for 45 million bucks at a London auction.

 

I have no idea how a guy whose paintings look like something done by famous cartoonists Hanna and Barbera after they stayed seven hours too long at happy hour can command that kind of dough but hey, I am part of the great unwashed when it comes to art.

 

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Admittedly, I have never paid a huge amount of attention to art, but I do know that I would prefer to buy paintings that were not open to interpretation in that “what in hell is that” kind of way. The large scale assumption here is that I would actually buy a painting in the first place.

 

So let’s put me in a perfect world where I have 45 million bucks in disposable income and I could only spend it on works of art. The big equalizer here is “works of art” because one guy’s investment in a 45 million dollar cartoon painting of another guy’s chick could easily be replaced by another guy’s investment in four wheeled works of art.

 

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It’s all in the interpretation for me because I see no value in the Picasso painting and yet I completely understand why the Batmobile went for over 4 million. Holy hot wheels– now that is a work of art.

 

I can understand why Christine would command big bucks at an auction and I realize that a Bullitt Mustang would be a big ticket item on the block.

 

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Obviously, I know why a low mileage survivor vehicle that has not seen the light of day since Desi and Lucy were the king and queen of network TV ratings would be a worthwhile purchase and I also understand the Tucker’s multi-million dollar tag because it was extremely rare and ahead of its time in the automobile world of the 40s.

 

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I understand art as it applies to custom rods and I know why high end customs make such a bold statement at every car show. The customized cars and trucks are a personal art statement that every car guy can understand and seriously covet in that Biblical way that will put them on the freeway to hell.

 

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Naturally, I understand the inner beauty found in the oddball cars and know very well that beauty is indeed in the eye of the beholder when it comes to vintage vehicles.

 

But I don’t get why a Picasso painting can be valued at 45 mill. You can’t drive a Picasso painting and you can’t blow the doors off a Rembrandt or Van Gogh in a street race with a Picasso.

 

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All you can do is hang your Picasso on a wall and make sure that you have hung it on a wall in a high security area because somebody else will want to steal your Picasso-and they won’t even have to hotwire it.

 

I will never understand Picasso but I can happily live with that shortfall in my cultural development very easily because I am a car guy and we all know real art when we see it on the street.

 

Jim Sutherland

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