Michael Newman/Flickr

El costo ético del arte muy cotizado

MELBOURNE – El mes pasado en Nueva York, Christie’s vendió arte contemporáneo y de la posguerra por valor de 745 millones de dólares, la mayor cantidad jamás alcanzada en una sola subasta. Entre las obras más cotizadas figuraban pinturas de Barnett Newman, Francis Bacon, Mark Rothko y Andy Warhol, cada una de las cuales se vendió por más de 60 millones de dólares. Según el New York Times, los coleccionistas asiáticos desempeñaron un papel importante en el aumento de los precios.

No cabe duda de que algunos compradores consideran sus adquisiciones una inversión, como los valores bursátiles, la propiedad inmobiliaria o los lingotes de oro. En ese caso, que el precio que pagaron fuera excesivo o módico dependerá de lo que el mercado esté dispuesto a pagar por la obra en una fecha futura.

Pero, si el beneficio no es el motivo, ¿por qué habría de querer alguien pagar decenas de millones de dólares por obras como ésas? No son bellas ni demuestran una gran destreza artística. Ni siquiera son inhabituales dentro de las obras de esos artistas. Haga el lector una búsqueda de imágenes de Newman” y verá muchas pinturas con barras verticales de colores, por lo general separadas por una línea fina. Al parecer, una vez que Newman tenía una idea, le gustaba realizarla con todas sus variaciones. El mes pasado, alguien compró una de esas variaciones por 84 millones de dólares. Una imagen pequeña de Marilyn Monroe obra de Andy Warhol –también hay muchas de ésas– se vendió por 41 millones de dólares.

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