An outlandish, controversial work of conceptual art

Photo by Clark Tibbs on Unsplash

If you want to understand the history that informs this piece, read this article.
If you want to know more about who I am, read this article.

“Being good in business is the most fascinating kind of art. Making money is art and working is art and good business is the best art.” -Andy Warhol

Here’s the punchline:

You can buy my career for $5,000,000.

I don’t mean the artworks I’ve created up to this point — they were the preparation. And I don’t mean that I’m pre-selling art I’ll make in the coming years. I mean I’m selling my…


Also: I definitely did not. But… maybe?

Ok. So. Some background to this story:

Like so many people these days, I’m a big fan of anonymous street artist Banksy’s work. Have been for more than a decade. I’m a stencil artist (though I keep off the streets) who gravitates toward conceptual art, so Banksy’s work holds a special place in my heart.

And like the old mystery story trope, this story has a second, seemingly unrelated storyline that comes full-circle in the end. In this case, NFTs. For the uninitiated, that stands for Non-Fungible Tokens. Long long story very very short, think of them as a way…


Photo by Jason Krieger on Unsplash

The “why” behind this big crazy art piece

Ok. So we’ve covered the basics of what the piece is, looked at the art history that paved the way, looked at the math behind the price tag, and thought about who might be a likely collector of this work. However, while I’ve alluded to a few ideas, I haven’t put together a more complete list/explanation of the issues, tensions, and ideas that I see inherent in it, and that’s important, especially for someone collecting something that spans decades.

The majority (though not all) of this piece’s ideas examine money or value…


A look at ideal & potential customers of an outlandish work of art

Photo by Gift Habeshaw on Unsplash

Background:
To learn what this whole piece is, read this
To learn about the history behind this piece, read this
To understand the math behind the price tag, read this

Ok. So now that you know what this piece is, how it came to be, and better understand its pricing, it’s time to examine what kind of person might collect it. First off, of course, is the simplest fact: someone who can afford to buy it. It isn’t the least expensive artwork on the market, and, admittedly…


The numbers behind a controversial conceptual art piece

Photo by Giorgio Trovato on Unsplash

No idea what this is about? Read this piece and this piece for background.

Five million dollars is a huge amount of money… probably. It depends.

Depends on what, you ask?

Well, a lot of things.


The art history that led to this grandiose piece

Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash

If you don’t know what this piece even is, or you want the “big picture,” read this post first.

As someone who truly loves conceptual art — pieces where the artist’s idea(s) are considered more important than the physical end product (when there even IS one) — I’ve had plenty of discussions about art with friends and acquaintances where quips like “my kid could have made that,” or “that’s not art” are common. But instead of being defensive or argumentative, I’m always delighted. I adore artworks that make people question the nature of art, whether or not the viewer disagrees…


Who I am is key to the most audacious artwork of my life

Photo of me, courtesy of me, with a quarantine lack-of-haircut to boot

Art collectors like to meet artists. Both in general, but specifically when they are going to buy some of their art. Sometimes it’s just to get a better sense of the origins of a piece or to get a good feel for an artist’s process so they can better appreciate their purchase, or maybe even just to make sure the artist isn’t a complete jerk, so they know they aren’t supporting an unlikeable oaf. This wild piece I’m offering makes this process exponentially more important.

I have…


What I remember and what I learned

Continued from part I

2.

My wristwatch bleeped at me because it understood that when I. hit the button on the side I was letting it know that I wanted the stopwatch to live up to its name. I greeted the sight of the stone emblazoned with my brother’s name with the casual familiarity that develops with frequent visits.

“Hey, bud.”

As usual, I had arranged for the mid-point of my six-mile run to be the civil-war memorial in the Pilgrim Home cemetery. Since my brother was a history buff, my parents decided to bury his remains in the only…


What I remember and what I learned

Introduction:

I have been writing this in tiny pieces for more than a decade. I’d leave it for months or years at a time, and then get a little written, a little remembered, a little planned out. …


Mary Poppins’ Coronavirus Advice
Mary Poppins’ Coronavirus Advice

The greatest nanny ever gave us the wisdom we need to face COVID-19

“Practically perfect in every way,” is exactly how you want someone described who is giving you advice, especially in a time of crisis. While the beloved English nanny Mary Poppins was not, as far as I know, a medical professional, her no-nonsense, magical take on life provided us with several bits of great advice that we can apply in the face of the current Coronavirus pandemic. So without further ado, here are six great pieces of advice for us:

“Close your mouth please, Michael. We are not…

Jonathan White

I’m a conceptual artist who loves startups, inventions, futures trading, & good ideas. I’m a stay-at-home dad w/ art & law degrees, & an odd duck.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store