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Would you pay $104 million for this?

February 4th, 2010
01:32 PM ET

A mystery bidder has paid $104.3 million for a piece of art in London, making it the most expensive artwork ever sold at auction.

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/02/04/art.auction.gallery.blog.gi.jpg caption ="Is this sculpture worth $104 million?."]

Alberto Giacometti's "L'homme qui marche 1 (Walking Man 1)" was sold in less than eight minutes to an anonymous telephone bidder for a staggering $104.3 million during an auction at Sotheby's.

The previous record for a piece of art sold at auction was $104.1 for Pablo Picasso's "Garcon a la Pipe".

"We knew that there was going to be a lot of demand for this great piece of art, but we were really amazed," Melanie Clore, deputy chairman of Sotheby's told CNN.

The life-size bronze sculpture of a man was made in 1961 and was originally cast in an edition of six by the Swiss artist.

We want to know what you think.

Do you think this piece of art is worth $105 million? Could the money have been better spent?

Please leave your thoughts and comments below.

Filed under:  General
soundoff (142 Responses)
  1. karlo

    do i really have to answer that question?

    February 4, 2010 at 1:47 pm | Reply
  2. Bernard Bier

    This peice is a true masterpiece and there is no limit to it's value as such, but the fact that an individual can afford 105 million in these days of real want all over the world is somehow immoral and indicates the basic problem with our culture, unbridled greed.

    February 4, 2010 at 2:34 pm | Reply
  3. laurinda

    If I can do it, it ain't art.

    February 4, 2010 at 2:44 pm | Reply
  4. Andrew Jo

    Yes, I would, trust me if you have $105 million dollars to spare, it's only a ding in your bank account. Plus, money is just a number this is a piece of art, also you get the title of "mysterious" which is great around Valentine's Day and what lady could resist the pick up line, "i'm on CNN and hold the most expensive piece of art ever?"..

    February 4, 2010 at 2:46 pm | Reply
  5. POD

    Sometimes when I start thinking that I am out of touch with reality an article like this re-affirms my believe that its not me its them. This is through the looking glass at its most absurd. That thing is at best ugly and worst weird and worth about $105 dollars total. In fifty years it will be sitting in some pawn shop.

    February 4, 2010 at 2:49 pm | Reply
  6. Steve

    No, POD it will not be sitting in a pawn shop. I absolutely love that sculpture and wish I had $110M so I could've outbid whoever bought it. Oh, and Bernard, really?! It's an auction at Sotheby's, get over it. They always have auctions whose total intake hits into the hundreds of millions, if the people who have so much money want to go and throw down $100M at an auction, hell, even $10M they are more than entitled. It's not a political statement, a sign of the basic problem with our culture, and most definitely not immoral.

    February 4, 2010 at 2:58 pm | Reply
  7. pat cunningham

    the man has more money than sense. ugh! thats whats wrong with the world today, people spend their money on garbage before they will help the helpless. What could've orphanages in Haiti done with that money.

    February 4, 2010 at 2:58 pm | Reply
  8. david w

    Although this does seem absurd, the person who purchased this is simply making an investment. The buyer knows that the piece of art will eventually be worth 110, or 120 million and he can profit off of it. It is better than putting his money in the market or real estate and possibly losing money. He will appreciate the piece and later sell it for a profit and hopefully then donate that money (and more) to charity.

    February 4, 2010 at 3:06 pm | Reply
  9. WTF

    If I had an EXTRA $105M, I would be feeding an entire country in need. I would be saving lives, not purchasing a piece of metal to sit on a shelf under lock and key. A purchase like this is nothing more than someone flaunting the fact that they they thank they are better than everyone else in the world and reality as well as compassion do not apply to them.

    February 4, 2010 at 3:10 pm | Reply
  10. pat cunningham

    oh yes! it IS immoral!

    February 4, 2010 at 3:10 pm | Reply
  11. vladimir

    Art belongs to humanity / museums not to some greedy, selfish dude.I Wonder if he ever made any donation to the starving poor of our world.

    February 4, 2010 at 3:12 pm | Reply
  12. pat c.

    loved the "pawnshop" comment. yep it will either be there or out on some lawn.

    February 4, 2010 at 3:12 pm | Reply
  13. yellowrose1010

    Someone has way too much money and time on their hands to spend this much – personally I feel this money could have gone elsewhere – in a humanitarian way. Such a waste.

    February 4, 2010 at 3:17 pm | Reply
  14. Butch

    Most disgusting waste of money in a long time. Why would anyone think this ugly piece of junk metal is worth more than scrap value.

    February 4, 2010 at 3:18 pm | Reply
  15. Chase

    Art has value, but it should belong to the world. It will probably sit in some castle on a hill and will never be seen again for 100 years. 105 million could help a countless amount of other people.

    February 4, 2010 at 3:22 pm | Reply
  16. stoop12

    It's a nice piece of art, and, while I wouldn't pay $105 million for it, I think the fact that someone can demonstrates the unbridled success that is possible in this country. While the government plans to spend more than twice this per year (http://www.cnn.com/2010/CRIME/02/03/newburgh.terror.trial/index.html?iref=allsearch ) to provide a non-US citizen and known terrorist with legal rights he wouldn't get anywhere else in the world, I think the accusation of immoral expenditure of money shouldn't be focused on a private art collector who may very well have earned that money by creating thousands of new jobs and stimulating that economy. Sure people are starving and there are orphanages. But the reason so much money has been sent there already is because we have so much money, a direct consequence of economic success.

    February 4, 2010 at 3:37 pm | Reply
  17. Susan


    February 4, 2010 at 3:39 pm | Reply
  18. Jack Gusto

    Just did a nice bowel movement that had as good asthetic / artistic quality–what dictates a price of 105 million?

    Maybe it's just a reflection of our society ---–the reason we live in a society that would rather pay a media entertainer a million dollars an hour to sign, dance, and act while on the flipside a teacher, soldier etc.. (someone who is actually contributing to our society) can barely afford to get by.

    February 4, 2010 at 3:40 pm | Reply
  19. bob mizzzzzzzzzz

    are you sick ??????????? 100 milion for that

    February 4, 2010 at 3:41 pm | Reply
  20. Kat

    People can spend their money however they please. If this is how some gazillionaire chooses to spend it, that's their business. For all you all know, the winning bidder gives equal amounts to charities; you get to a place in life where you can help the needy plus buy art that appeals to you, are you saying you wouldn't indulge? It's so easy to sit back and be a Monday morning quarterback when you can't even toss a football...when you get your billions you can spend it however you like too.
    I gave my grocery money to Doctors Without Borders after the Haiti earthquake but wouldn't it be cool to be rich enough to have been able to donate, invest in, um, art like this statue, plus eat more than mac & cheese?

    February 4, 2010 at 3:42 pm | Reply
  21. khensa

    If I have that level of disposable income, I would give it to a good cause rather than use it for acquisition of "stuff".

    February 4, 2010 at 3:43 pm | Reply
  22. SkrewdinMichgin

    I'm debating. I have a 14' aluminum boat and it would be a cool discussion piece at the docks as to "What kind of anchor is that?" Then I think, maybe if I put it on my roof and shoved cable up it's backside, I could get more local channels!

    February 4, 2010 at 3:48 pm | Reply
  23. Kevin

    $104.3 Million would go a long way for Haiti relief...

    February 4, 2010 at 3:52 pm | Reply
  24. JT

    I would pay for it....because you would expect me not to.

    February 4, 2010 at 4:13 pm | Reply
  25. ttc

    hey its a damn cool piece, but that is way too much money

    February 4, 2010 at 4:17 pm | Reply
  26. Boka

    If it is an art. I must have poor sense of art!

    February 4, 2010 at 4:23 pm | Reply
  27. luther vaughn

    Obviously, the only one who would be able to buy this rare piece of art is Jennifer Lopez.

    February 4, 2010 at 4:24 pm | Reply
  28. John

    Why would anyone think that piece of junk is worth $105 million? It appears having too much money "damages" people's brain and thinking faculties these days.

    February 4, 2010 at 4:24 pm | Reply
  29. Erica G

    Certainly, if I had a spare 100 million lying around.

    February 4, 2010 at 4:25 pm | Reply
  30. Glenn

    It's better the rich spend there money on what ever they want than hoard it. There is now 104 million dollars in circulation.

    February 4, 2010 at 4:27 pm | Reply
  31. John

    No Way!

    February 4, 2010 at 4:32 pm | Reply
  32. Chuck

    If it cleaned my house, cook my dinner, and drove to work everyday then maybe...

    February 4, 2010 at 4:38 pm | Reply
  33. Why

    I find it kind of hard to justify since a painting is original, and this is one of 6 sculptures cast from the same mold, but he was a famous artist, and I can see someone paying that much for it.. That said, I've never been a fan of Giacometti and definitely wouldn't pay that much for it myself.

    To say, however, that it is immoral to spend money on art while people are out of work or suffering from a natural disaster is ridiculous. Human lives are a dime a dozen. Trust me, we've got no shortage of people overpopulating the earth.

    February 4, 2010 at 4:39 pm | Reply
  34. Margot Garza

    i would if i have the money.

    February 4, 2010 at 4:40 pm | Reply
  35. Linda

    Hmmm..would love to know more about it...why did he create it? What is his statement...the backstory would be nice to know. As far as the cost....it's only driven by the desire to own it. What it is really worth is debatable. No, I would not pay that much, no matter how much money I had. I could not do it in good conscience. So many other things would come first. Like donation to cancer research, or diseases that don't get any funding because they are so rare.

    February 4, 2010 at 4:42 pm | Reply
  36. lm

    why is it our responsibilty to provide for the world, when there are tent cities in this country? starving children, orphanages, and on & on! if this man can afford it, more power to him. who knows, it may be bill gates. and look at the billions of dollars he donates to everyone!

    February 4, 2010 at 4:43 pm | Reply
  37. Rob

    He's fabulous!! although he's about $1,399,999.00 out of my budget!

    February 4, 2010 at 4:44 pm | Reply
  38. Mat

    I don't see how it's worth 100 million dollars. I don't see how it's worth $100. I would not pay this price.

    What someone else does with their own money is nobody's business though and I wish the new owner nothing but enjoyment with their new purchase.

    A lot of posters really need to realize that they have no business suggesting that what someone does with their money is anybody's business but that person's.

    February 4, 2010 at 4:45 pm | Reply
  39. cb

    Agreed – what $104 million dollars could do as a charitable contribution – this is a colossal waste.

    Of course the seller could also donate those proceeds – as could the auction house their cut.

    I won't hold my breath.

    February 4, 2010 at 4:45 pm | Reply
  40. BH

    "A fool and his money are soon parted"... never has that overstated cliche been validated in a stronger sense, than in this display of gaudy, self-indulgence. Investment my a–...it's a prime example of "Look at what I can spend. It's about me" 105M put to work in other areas (not necessarily in the market /bonds) will net a better return over the long run...it's way over the top...but it's his/her money

    February 4, 2010 at 4:49 pm | Reply
  41. Jean Thorne


    February 4, 2010 at 4:50 pm | Reply
  42. Mike

    Yeah, I would buy it. Why not?

    February 4, 2010 at 4:57 pm | Reply
  43. Jim Veemn

    "Savages and modern artists are alike strangely driven to create something uglier than themselves. but the artists find it harder."


    February 4, 2010 at 5:02 pm | Reply
  44. Steve

    I saw several of Alberto Giacometti's pieces at the Art Institute in Chicago and was absolutely breathless.

    If I had billions of dollars to spend, yes, I would spend that much on a Giacommetti, or a Francis Bacon, an Odd Nedrum, or a Lucian Freud.

    Absolutely one of my favorite artists, if you love his sculpture, please check out his sketches/water colors, just astounding.

    February 4, 2010 at 5:02 pm | Reply
  45. Cup O Joe

    This is very solid evidence that money has outlived it's usefulness, and that society is devolving. $104+ million for a sculpture that isn't even groundbreaking or stunning or even attractive: what a complete waste! I can agree that as a piece of art, it is neat. It's got a coolness factor to it, but I honestly wouldn't go any higher than around $200 for it, then would display it in my garden "walking" along a path.

    To spend $104 M is nothing more than evidence that this person (and many others like him/her) has acquired so much more money than is necessary that he/she has no idea at all what to do with it. Not only that, but the selfishness of this person is pretty stunning – how many people could be helped with that money instead?

    Yes, this is a sad commentary on what money has become, on people's greed, and society's direction.

    February 4, 2010 at 5:02 pm | Reply
  46. Brutski

    It's a funny thing about art, the artist who created it has to die before it becomes something so valued and rare. The economist in me thinks that the person that spent $104mil. on this single piece could have instead used the money to by thousands of pieces from artists that are about ready to kick the bucket and when they die he can then sell them all off and surely triple his investment in five years. It's just a thought.

    February 4, 2010 at 5:03 pm | Reply
  47. Patricia Brown

    Reminds me of my first date, and he definately wasn't worth that much.

    February 4, 2010 at 5:05 pm | Reply
  48. J

    Can someone explain how that skinny walking man is art, or "good art?" It doesn't seem to convey any really strong emotion. It doesn't seem to tell a heart-wrenching story like Picasso's "Guernica." What makes this "art" rather than an "unrealistic model of a skinny walking man?" To me it is just ugly. Can someone explain this?

    February 4, 2010 at 5:08 pm | Reply
  49. Zerge

    I wouldn't pay a CENT over $100 million.

    February 4, 2010 at 5:09 pm | Reply
  50. Mandy

    In a time like this, I could think of 1000 families this money could help.
    In my opinion, buying an art work would not make me feel any different, but helping 1000 families will.

    February 4, 2010 at 5:11 pm | Reply
  51. jimmy dean

    what makes this piece so important? someone has more money than brains.............

    February 4, 2010 at 5:11 pm | Reply
  52. Steve

    That transaction of $105M no doubt carried a hefty multi-multi-million dollar tax burden that will benefit the good people of London.

    The sale also helps employ shippers, packagers, insurers, auctioneers, and the like – trickle down effects.

    The record sale price will also likely encourage artists around the world.

    I seriously doubt that someone with $105M of disposable income would spend it all on one piece of art. No, he probably has a billion or more of disposable income, and he may be quite generous with his money. We cannot see into this anonymous buyer's heart.

    As another poster pointed out, it might very well be a good investment. If he can turn around and sell it for $120M in a year, he'll have made a nice profit.

    There is nothing immoral in this sale.

    February 4, 2010 at 5:13 pm | Reply
  53. Joe Muthah

    hahaha, I would pay twice that then hang my coat on it. I love it, and think the money would probably go to waste in haiti building more crap buildings that will collapse in the next earthquake. If people really cared about haiti, they would donate educational resources to create more engineers that know how to build structurally sound buildings. The disasters are only going to get bigger and more frequent as the global temperature continues to rise people.

    February 4, 2010 at 5:18 pm | Reply
  54. bob smith

    Value is perceived and there is no real value in any object people feel is worth money. Even money is actually valueless. Life has real value and only something that has been paid for with life, through death, has any real value.

    February 4, 2010 at 5:19 pm | Reply
  55. Tina

    No Way.

    February 4, 2010 at 5:21 pm | Reply
  56. Emily

    It is a bit ridiculous that someone would pay that amount of money for a piece of art that could easily be recreated. Especially in times when so many people are in need of donations. But.. this is in a world full of greed. So be it.

    February 4, 2010 at 5:23 pm | Reply
  57. Jeff

    I love art, and it is an interesting piece, but I believe "obscene" is the right word. Imagine the lives that could be saved with that money. Such is the way of the world, though, and it probably always will be.

    February 4, 2010 at 5:24 pm | Reply
  58. Joseph M

    Yes, this piece of art history could be considered invaluable...which means it's worth shouldn't be equated to a monetary value, as is the case with all other "invaluable" art. The fact that there are so many people bidding on it, who actually have over a hundred million dollars to squander away on a mere piece of art, while so many many other people in this world are starving, sick, homeless or helpless... well, this just plain wrong, and should be considered a crime against humanity. Art this valuable should be made available for all the earth to view... not squirreled away for decades in some sinful pig's private art gallery. IMO, it would be great if the purchaser donated this art to some public museum, and the seller donated the proceeds to the Haiti relief effort.

    February 4, 2010 at 5:29 pm | Reply
  59. hello

    The way some of you are talking, every rich person should spend like the middle (average) class... and donate the rest to charity. That is insane. People can spend their money any way they please. That is the beauty of capitalism.

    This is a valued piece of art that will still be valuable for generations to come. Not a horrible long term investment, if I do say so myself.

    February 4, 2010 at 5:37 pm | Reply
  60. Alan J

    As my father would say, anyone who would buy that would eat shit.

    February 4, 2010 at 5:40 pm | Reply
  61. Sai Thanarat

    Interesting how the sculpture looks like a famished and starving man. Alas, the buyer spent over a hundred million on one figurine - when that money could have gone to a hundred million famished and starving people. That would have been far better art!

    February 4, 2010 at 5:42 pm | Reply
  62. luapneaj

    So spending the money you earned is wrong? If I were able to achieve that amount of wealth working hard my entire life, thus allowing me to afford a Giacometti sculpture, 105M no problem. But then yes what about the helpless people? Well of course, if you have that amount of wealth sure anything is possible, just throw out a number. There is no shortage of ignorant people on this post that for some reason can not understand that art has value! It has been valued since the dawn of humanity and, like it or not, it will continue to be valued.

    February 4, 2010 at 5:45 pm | Reply
  63. Ishrat Rumy

    “Once a man unearthed in his field a marble statue of great beauty. And he took it to a collector who loved all beautiful things and offered it to him for sale, and the collector bought it for a large price. And they parted.
    And as the man walked home with his money he thought, and he said to himself, ‘How much life this money means! How can anyone give all this for a dead carved stone buried and undreamed of in the earth for a thousand years?’
    And now the collector was looking at his statue, and he was thinking, and he said to himself, ‘What beauty! What life! The dream of what a soul! - and fresh with the sweet sleep of a thousand years. How can anyone give all this for money, dead and dreamless?’” – Gibran

    Well, we don’t know what values drove this buyer. However, certainly the money could have better spent on human beings in real world who do look like this statue because of starvation…

    February 4, 2010 at 5:47 pm | Reply
  64. Margaret

    Words fail me

    February 4, 2010 at 5:58 pm | Reply
  65. Holzy

    No way in Haiti.... Heck... I mean Hell !

    I have always said to myself I couldn't even draw a recognizable stick figure. Geeze Louise, I can barely read my own penmanship, but I do believe I've got a good shot at creating something similar. I’m calling all my friends – I’m gonna be rich!

    February 4, 2010 at 5:58 pm | Reply
  66. Phil

    I wouldn't pay 5 dollars for such an ugly piece of art. If that is an example of the most impressive artwork of the 21st century, then our century is really in bad shape. Compare that to Michelangelo sculptures, like David, or Pieta! Shows how crazy our so-called art crticics are...

    February 4, 2010 at 6:04 pm | Reply
  67. Me2

    Even if I had the money, I don't think I could justify this amount for any single piece of artwork (maybe the sphinx or something like that..lol). That said, it is a beautiful piece. Likely the new owner won't even live long enough to get the value of his money in enjoyment of contemplating this. Side note: art has ALWAYS been a more reliable investment than money markets, not necessarily as profitable, but definitely more reliable.

    February 4, 2010 at 6:04 pm | Reply
  68. J

    Again, those of you who say it is "beautiful," please explain why you feel that way. ...Or are you just trying to look like art snobs and failing to actually do so? Do you actually have a REASON for saying it is beautiful? If so, please explain what it is so that we TOO can understand and appreciate this.

    February 4, 2010 at 6:42 pm | Reply
  69. melucha26

    Well, in my opinion everyone is entitled to spend his/her money as they please.
    However, and artistic opinions apart, I wouldn't be able to sleep at night knowing that there's so many people dying of hunger and no medical care and that I could have made a difference and didn't! Not that the few people who can afford to spend this amount of money have the obligation to save the world, but they're the ones who can really make a difference.
    May the new owner of this piece of art (that ironically looks like a STARVING "man walking"), enjoy it while thinking of the real ones who many times cannot even walk anymore!

    February 4, 2010 at 6:52 pm | Reply
  70. Kyle

    I've seen better looking human excrement.

    February 4, 2010 at 6:56 pm | Reply
  71. Daniel

    What a joke. This "art" is worth it's weight in bronze, that is, about $2.50

    February 4, 2010 at 6:58 pm | Reply
  72. Dan H

    If I had a 100+ million dollars to spare, I'd be helping people, not buying art... sure I appreciate art, but there's priorities in life... and if making your living room look a bit more spiffy with a sculpture is above say... helping people in haiti, or funding cancer research, or just buying a zillion tacos for starving people, then I think you need to re-evaluate your priorities in life.

    February 4, 2010 at 7:22 pm | Reply
  73. Borladin

    The thermometer of success is merely the jealousy of malcontents!

    February 4, 2010 at 8:32 pm | Reply
  74. Greg Stevenson

    It takes that money out of the system. For the capitalist system to work 100% of the money must be made available for repayment of interest on loans. You take large hunks out of circulation for non-productive purposes it makes it that much harder for those interest payments to be made. Someone at the bottom of the heap has their life devastated more probably lost. There is an argument if the sculpture is displayed and tickets are sold and it attracts tourism dollars that 1000s of people are sustained by its existance and enhanced by this massive transaction. More likely, this investor might as well have got a gun and shot someone. The degrees of seperation between action and consequence will have this investor deluding themselves that this sort of consumerism is ok. See "Money as Debt"

    February 4, 2010 at 9:54 pm | Reply
  75. David

    I like man's art a lot. But I like nature's art even more. If they auctioned it off, how much would you pay for Bryce Canyon?

    February 4, 2010 at 9:58 pm | Reply
  76. bob

    Congratulations to the buyer. He is a man with consummate taste and consummate wallet. I have read so many here that say it is immoral. Wrong. What is the whole point of life if you can not buy sometime you want. It is immoral to have the money to do that? Most of us would love to have his money and then we would change out idea about immoral. Now. What is the only thing a man wants after he has everything (Giacometti's "L'homme qui marche 1) A beautiful woman. That he can get a LatinEuro. Well. On to Egypt to see if the pyramids are still standing

    February 5, 2010 at 12:46 am | Reply
  77. Eleazar

    Jesus, just how many poor kids could have been fed with that money, how many poor people could have been given a scholarship from Elementary school to College with that money?. Im not saying that you have to give all your money, but if you got 104 million to spare, why not put them in a good and PRODUCTIVE cause?. This is the clear example of carelessness and greed

    February 5, 2010 at 1:06 am | Reply
  78. J Gard

    While in my opinion it's obscene to spend that kind of money on an inanimate object, it's exactly that, an opinion. Obviously, the guy has money to burn. Anyone who can drop that kind of money is obviously a billionaire.
    To play devil's advocate, it's actually a smart investment. Art is an extremely good investment. I can guarantee that when this piece eventually comes up for sale again, he/she will get well over what they paid for this piece.

    February 5, 2010 at 2:35 am | Reply
  79. truth

    personally i would never pay that much for a piece of artwork, but obviously this person had the financial freedom to do so. That is their choice.

    Don't say "he shoulda sent it to Haiti"....
    if you havent yourself donated a significant percentage to Haiti, then you should not talk and hide behind a screenname.

    Criticizing the "dullness" of the sculpture. Just like how some people may not understand your interests, you have to respect others in what they deem as valuable.

    Yes, that same money could have been used to help those in need, but so can your "luxury" expenses (family vacations, tickets to sporting events, eating out, money spent on hobbies).

    All i am saying is to stick with your own personal decision, do not try to be all "righteous" and tell people how they should spend the money THEY earned.

    to each his own.

    February 5, 2010 at 2:42 am | Reply
  80. Mike Smith

    If everytime I merely glanced at it or mentioned its name or even had a slight sheer mental image of it causing my pants to explode in orgasmic bliss, then and only then would i pay 2% of what it was bought for.

    February 5, 2010 at 2:49 am | Reply
  81. Rick

    It tells me that the buyer obviously has way more money than they need and at that level of wealth they surely do not know of struggle. Sure people can spend whatever their pockets will afford but really? I think ego has a lot to play in this. They get so bored with everyday life and the fact that they can have whatever they want at their beckon call, to spend a great sum for this art adds a spark, but for how long?

    Even if I had the money and I liked this piece of art I wouldn't spend a dime on it. I can think of better ways to spend it like Bill Gates and his wife just did, and that was giving it to charity. I would rather leave this world knowing I made a difference in people's lives rather than being filthy rich and living on some island I own by myself.

    February 5, 2010 at 2:55 am | Reply
  82. JOE

    $104 Million. I'll work my whole life to try and pay off a modest home mortgage, meanwhile, some jackass just paid $104 Million for this thing.

    February 5, 2010 at 3:08 am | Reply
  83. Chadlee

    There is nothing wrong with spending 105 million for a piece of art. Could the money be spent elsewhere? Well sure but this is art, it's just like film, a man makes a movie for hundreds of millions and people freak out when they that happens. But we as an audience spend sometimes billions of dollars to see the movie. The titanic is grossed over 1 billion.

    The person that spent 105 million for that statue has a right to spend their money as they please, maybe thats why it was an anonymous phone call. But he or she is paying the artist to continue their work, and there is nothing wrong with that.

    February 5, 2010 at 3:15 am | Reply
  84. Mystified

    If you have the bread, who's to say how one should spend it? One would hope the buyer came by the money honestly, but that's hard to figure, isn't it. Seems like a colossal waste of cash to me. I can't not think of Haiti.

    But whoever said (in this thread) that art should belong to everybody, just remember, throughout history, artists have been financed by sponsors (patrons). A lot of great art would have never been made had not rich people bankrolled its creation. If they want to donate their possessed work to a museum, hey, thanks. But I don't see why they're obligated.

    February 5, 2010 at 3:25 am | Reply
  85. Yarub

    What a disgrace. I am wealthy person with plenty of money but this is a shame and a revolting waste of money when so many people suffering and hardly have $105 dollars to their name.

    February 5, 2010 at 3:28 am | Reply
  86. Bobby

    Hey who ever won this did have a little common sense and wanted to be a mystery bidder!! Because they realized the rest of the world would think they were insane!!!!!!

    February 5, 2010 at 3:29 am | Reply
  87. monique

    Not in this life nor the next!

    February 5, 2010 at 3:29 am | Reply
  88. Mr.Reality

    I have to be a complete lunatic to pay such huge money for an ugly sculpture. If I wanted to waste my money I would have instead give $104 millions to the christian charities. Those kids could use some help from us.

    February 5, 2010 at 3:36 am | Reply
  89. T.

    Reminds me of the movie, The Magic Christian" with Peter Sellers and Ringo Star......watch it or read the book....
    "Will you walk away from a fool and his money?"

    February 5, 2010 at 3:58 am | Reply
  90. russ T

    Envy is a great sin. It's wonderful that art still has value in this world. The US spends this much in one day on bombs and guns, and for that matter, so does a hundred other countries. This piece is a very important 20th Century Icon. It's a shame that most people seem to think their opinion of it matters...Hubris being another great sin. Does anyone get the concept that a purchase like this may mean that the economic crisis is coming to an end? Or that a purchase like this ends up employing a host of people...how else does the money trickle down if no one buys anything. Good for the buyer!!! PS. the investment will likely double in just a decade...better investment than most!!

    February 5, 2010 at 4:15 am | Reply
  91. Clay

    It would give me far greater pleasure and sense of self worth to give the money to those in need.

    February 5, 2010 at 4:52 am | Reply
  92. David Riker

    Of course I would pay 100 million dollars for a piece of art. It's just money, whereas a work by a great artist like Picasso or Giacometti is something beautiful and tangible, something which transports one to vast imaginal realms. The shame is that this piece might end up hidden from public view, sequestered away in the beautifully appointed living room of some billionaire's palatial digs...

    February 5, 2010 at 4:55 am | Reply
  93. Srdjan

    I guess that money would help so many people in Haiti!

    February 5, 2010 at 5:07 am | Reply
  94. Goz

    How can I? This person that paid that huge amount may not have donated up to 10% of that to Haitians suffering.........But it's his money what do I have to say???

    February 5, 2010 at 5:38 am | Reply
  95. SG

    I am not an art expert but I don't think it is worth $105 million. It is a good news for art but at the wrong time when people around the world are still hurting from the severe recession and people are suffering in haiti, darfur in sudan, etc, .

    February 5, 2010 at 6:25 am | Reply
  96. Kevin

    If you ever ask the question of "Why is this good?" You will never understand. You've already decided that this is a poor work of art, and so it is.

    But for those of us who see something deeper in it, it's viewing becomes a wonderful experience.

    See, art is not made to be seen for a brief moment, on an internet thumbnail, or with the pop headline of "record breaking." It's meant to be stared at. Unfortunately, for quite a while. If you choose not to spend the time to look at it without presumption of what it "is" or "is not," then you can never hope to pull some amount of understanding from the work.

    Likewise, though, art is not quantifiable, and it's not part of a contest. So if you hate it, you're more than within your right to hate it, but by it's nature, you can't say it's worth more or less than any other object, especially an object with an already firmly established price tag. The price of art can only be established by its buyer; and this time, it's worth $104.3 million. There's really no way to argue that.

    February 5, 2010 at 6:40 am | Reply
  97. Mathew Oommen

    if a person can shell out 100 million bucks on a statue (no matter how valuable it is or who sculpted it), he has to be a billionaire, that too in the top 10, considering that the sothebys doesnt do an EMI 🙂 on such purchases, this amount should be a small change.
    but the fact is, 100 million could have done so much for something else (the needs in this world as of present day is such that, i cant even start on the list)
    WHAT RECESSION?????, if he is from US, he has to be from one of the failed banks :))))

    February 5, 2010 at 6:52 am | Reply
  98. shet00011

    It is an amazing piece. The money I think is irrelevant and I'll tell you why; everyone has seen something that just gets to the very soul of them, a cross, a sad face. We should think of the money as a symbolic reciprocation for the art and it does it job by raising up the piece for those who don't understand, to maybe see. I think it is hard to understand significance otherwise in today's age.

    February 5, 2010 at 6:56 am | Reply
  99. Ben

    It is crazy!!!
    I never standant some people, How can you spend that kind of money for something that you only going to have it seat somewhere ..? so just to please your eyes? please let exagerate. People at Haitie and around the world are dying hungry, sick and you are spendind money on something that has not life in it, man..! so sad

    February 5, 2010 at 7:10 am | Reply
  100. Ramtin

    absolutely not. people in haiti are dying of hunger right now. if you have a 105 million dollars to spare, give it to them

    February 5, 2010 at 7:20 am | Reply
  101. Nacy

    Can anybody that has left a comment stating that the person who bought this should give his money away, will you please explain why he should????

    February 5, 2010 at 8:00 am | Reply
  102. RH

    A beautiful piece and no doubt valuable. But, nothing is worth that kind of money. I'm wondering if some Wall Street type has found a way to "invest" his hard earned bonus?

    I'd rather spend that amount of coin on rebuilding New Orleans, Haiti and a few other needful areas... such as most schools and hospitals around the world.

    To Whomever Bought the Walking Man 1...

    I can only hope that this is your reward for doing good things for many, many people. Otherwise, I fear for your sense of humanity.

    February 5, 2010 at 8:19 am | Reply
  103. Guri Singh


    February 5, 2010 at 9:16 am | Reply
  104. dennis

    with that kind of money i would provide clean drinking water to the resident on the north-eastern province in kenya for ten years. what a waste!

    February 5, 2010 at 9:37 am | Reply
  105. Anonomous

    The person who bought it knows it was worth every pound, dollar, rubble, lat, whatever he purchased it with, it was worth it...... I just wish I could touch it.......

    February 5, 2010 at 10:09 am | Reply
  106. lina

    If I had the money, I would probably not buy this piece of art – it just does not excite me that much. I would, however, buy myself a whole new wardrobe or perhaps a penthouse in the centre of Paris....or both 🙂 And travel the world for 20 years with the leftover money!
    What does Haiti have to do with this?? And who are all these communists thinking they can decide what to do with someone else's money?

    February 5, 2010 at 11:22 am | Reply
  107. Big Jim

    It's a peice of metal for God's sake....give the money to charity. If the sculptor were alive today, he would be laughing his ass off. You people realy need to WAKE UP!!!!!

    February 5, 2010 at 11:50 am | Reply
  108. Kristy

    Wow. Such greed mixed with stupidity & hubris – what a dangerous mix. It's the fall of the "Empire" all over again . . . rotting from within.

    February 5, 2010 at 12:08 pm | Reply
  109. Steve

    The money was only an invested in art. Some day the owner will resell it for a profit to another rich person or company.

    February 5, 2010 at 12:45 pm | Reply
  110. nii

    'haiti will need that kind of money' it wouldn't be enough to solve all the problems but it will at least help a couple of families and that is what the life is all about ' it is to be there for one another not buying bronze art works.

    February 5, 2010 at 1:09 pm | Reply
  111. Dave

    There are reason that most of you have never stepped foot into a museum or gallery. Ignorance is the first thing that comes to mind.

    February 5, 2010 at 1:14 pm | Reply
  112. Pam

    I work at Kennedy Space Center–and we are closing down our Shuttle program – with the loss of 12,000+ people–so to hear that someone paid that amount of money – for something grade school kids achieve–is way beyond my comprehension.

    February 5, 2010 at 1:15 pm | Reply
  113. wilbur

    Hmmm..now where are the other five ? Might be time to SELL !

    February 5, 2010 at 1:54 pm | Reply
  114. Clem

    Wouldn't pay 5 bucks for that thing. I hope it the head falls off in an earthquake of some sort and is worth nothing

    February 5, 2010 at 2:03 pm | Reply
  115. Jon Slotnick

    I'd pay even more for this amazing piece, which captures the human condition in a way no artist ever has before or ever will again. A rare combination of originality, form and existential expression. Perhaps the new owner will consider a loan out.

    February 5, 2010 at 2:06 pm | Reply
  116. James A. MD, NC USA

    With Hunger,starvation and homeless in Haiti and infact in most countries in this world ( developed and developing), this is clearly immoral.

    Maybe when they are very old and close to thier death beds, then they will come to this realization.That it's not how many toys and luxury items for bragging rights or infact passion that matters.
    Rather, the number of lives elevated, changed, made better.Did you really help the widow, orphan, poor,homeless,abused, sick with as much resources you could?
    I hope their hearts get softened and thier conscience wakes up.

    Imagine how many kids this money will educate , even here in the USA, much less in developing countries.Imagine the number of lkids that will not die if they had the right treatment for diarheal disease, malaria and tuberculosis.
    Imagine the number of homes that won't be foreclosed if the families get a loan from this guy.
    Imagine the number of homless folks that could get a shelter with some of this money.
    Imagine the number of homes that can be warmed in this winter with this money.
    The problem is this kind of people have thier milk of human kindness killed, that is if they ever had such in the first place.

    Can whoever this person is, if they have so much money, take a cue from Bill and melinda Gates?

    February 5, 2010 at 2:22 pm | Reply
  117. marypaid

    What an ugly piece of junk! I'll bet the new owner doesn't look much better, either!

    February 5, 2010 at 2:40 pm | Reply
  118. graceofgod

    just like God said in the bible ,The spoil of the poor is in your houses.Isaiah 3:14

    February 5, 2010 at 2:40 pm | Reply
  119. sabih

    It's simply outrageous to see some people spending that insane amount of money on a piece of sculpture while billions of people around the world can't even afford a single meal and clean water to merely survive. This sculpture is supposedly highlighting human condition but the humanity is crying for help yet no one bothers to listen.

    February 5, 2010 at 2:47 pm | Reply
  120. kendall

    i wonder if the other five pieces were cast from this or the artist used 'lost wax' to sculpt with ,knowing he was creating "commercial "art as opposed to the "bare my sole & for no other purpose" art? the latter to me would be worth more. i also wonder if he tracked down & purchased the other identical pieces before he invested so much in a piece if it is not one of a kind?

    February 5, 2010 at 2:58 pm | Reply
  121. Nadolyn

    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO I could use some of that money to pay bills and wouldn't need anywhere close to ( $104million ).

    February 5, 2010 at 3:01 pm | Reply
  122. GPB

    Art is mysterious yet pleasing. The emotional experience is what matters in modern art. If I was a billionare, which whoever bought this had to be, I would only buy it if I could afford it, but I would rather help poor countries like Haiti.
    But more than likely, a big time museum purchased this to add to their collection, which is not wrong in any way because they paid 104 million for it but we can still get the same emotional experience by seeing it in the museum for much less.

    February 5, 2010 at 3:18 pm | Reply
  123. Alfred K. Woods

    Ugly piece of junk or not – who cares. The majority of responses in this thread clearly demonstrate what's wrong with Amercan society. Who are you to judge the person who paid almost $105 Million for something they percieve as art? So what? How do you know that this person hasn't already donated $300 Million to Haiti relief?

    Stop whining and get over your wealth envy already. Go do something to better yourself instead of criticize somebody else's success.

    February 5, 2010 at 3:34 pm | Reply
  124. RGW

    You Kidding? Do you know how much beer that would buy!

    February 5, 2010 at 3:36 pm | Reply
  125. Raj

    No. Never. Even if I am trillionaire. Appreciating the art is good thing but not when overlooking the fact that millions go hungry and out of basic necessities of life everyday on this planet.

    February 5, 2010 at 3:39 pm | Reply
  126. JOHN


    February 5, 2010 at 3:41 pm | Reply
  127. Homer


    February 5, 2010 at 3:45 pm | Reply
  128. AA

    How can anyone even expect me to be understanding towards people who would spend such money on a single sculpture just few weeks after the earthquake in Haiti. What would the sculpture be good for except feeding some big ego? Haiti is just a recent tragedy. There are millions of people dying out of hunger, lack of water and many more reasons in daily basis. I guess satisfying your ego is so much more important than the proud feeling knowing you helped someone survive.

    February 5, 2010 at 3:48 pm | Reply
  129. Alfred K. Woods

    Raj, you're who I was talking about. "overlooking the fact that millions go hungry and out of basic necessities of life everyday..." Sir, prove to me that whomever bought the sculputre hasn't made a habit of donating extraordinary amounts of money to hungry families and then we can have an intellectually honest discussion. Until that time, your wealth envy is quite disappointing.

    Most billionaires are highly philanthropic people. There is no reason to assume that the person who bought the statue is some evil rich person with nothing better to do than blow millions of dollars on a meaningless piece of art. Grow up, people.

    February 5, 2010 at 3:49 pm | Reply
  130. Kuehl

    That is absolutely ridiculous! It is art. It has no value other than what people place on it. Put that money towards better use. Help educate the children in your area. Help someone in the world, but don't pay that much money for something so meaningless. $104 million could build several schools that could help aspiring young artists! This is such a waste of money! It really sickens me!

    February 5, 2010 at 3:58 pm | Reply
  131. Smartwater


    GOD WILL BLESS YOU ......!!!

    SCULPTUREs Don't SAVE LIVES....But YOU CAN...............

    February 5, 2010 at 4:01 pm | Reply
  132. Galoux

    Two things about this question: (1) I cannot imagine what $104 million is. Making the highest salary I've ever made, I'd have to work (and not spend a penny of what I made) for a mere *two thousand years* to spend that much. (2) It's a shame that a piece that rare and considered that important winds up in the hands of a private collector, shut away from the eyes of the billions of other people who love art.

    February 5, 2010 at 4:08 pm | Reply
  133. stephanie

    No, I would not, but it is a matter of personal taste and I can understand why someone paid so much for it.

    Sports players get paid this much, yet no one seems to mind. Yet I always find it amazing that when it comes to Art, people actually become offended when it sells for a lot of money.

    February 5, 2010 at 4:21 pm | Reply
  134. kh

    i always thought art was supposed to be enjoyable. looking at that statue..... not too enjoyable. and definetly not worth $105 million. not even close.

    February 5, 2010 at 4:34 pm | Reply
  135. gus

    I don't find this statue appealing, so no, I wouldn't buy it.
    How many of US would be considered obscenely rich by much of the world's population? What have each of US done to help the less fortunate among our brothers and sisters. Instead of buying that new wide screen?

    February 5, 2010 at 5:27 pm | Reply
  136. Mike

    I'd buy 2 at that price.

    February 5, 2010 at 7:03 pm | Reply
  137. Muthyavan,

    Prices for art object is sky rocking because the value of money in world market is facing a dawn word trend. It is worth investing on an art object and saving the wealth as value on money is daily loosing ground everyday.

    February 5, 2010 at 9:07 pm | Reply
  138. Strob

    Ugly! The person wh paid for it probably think it's ugly too. He probably just bought it for the value... This not art, this is investing in the absurd world of market "art". The real art nowadays is in comic book and movies and video and internet, where true artist who work almost for nothing are really creating wonderful pieces of Art without any greed of economical thought behind it.

    February 9, 2010 at 1:52 am | Reply
  139. Befeleme

    I feel sorry for the purchaser – his imagination, talents and ambitions must be really on par with a house fly if all he can think of as the most suitable application for his spare $100M is this one little uninspiring statue.

    There are so many mysteries to solve in the Universe, so many exciting things to do with all that money; myriads of things to learn and discover, to make progress for oneself and for humanity.

    But this??? Oh how sad...

    February 9, 2010 at 7:25 am | Reply
  140. Rob

    Insanity is alive and well.

    February 9, 2010 at 10:12 pm | Reply
  141. Julian

    Anyone with wealth that is hard earned has no obligation to be a care taker for any crisis in humanity.

    Yes the auction price was severely high, but we could say excluding any proportion, why would you buy that $10 ornament instead of donating it to charity? Why would you eat at a more expensive resturaunt when you could eat a sub par meal and donate the remainder to charity? Why live in a large house when you can fit into a smaller one?

    Western culture is to study hard, work hard and reap its rewards. Not to study hard, work hard and help other less fortune people. Sad as it may be, but it is the truth.

    The bidder worked hard to earn his money, it is solely his choice what he decides to spend it on. Before you comment on how irrational his decision is, think about the time you bought something of value which could have stop someone starving to death in another country.

    February 10, 2010 at 5:32 am | Reply
  142. mikey

    Why is it that some people feel if you have worked hard and you are successful that you should just give your money away? Many gives millions a year to charity, milions of hard earned well deserved money. If that person decides they would like to make a financial investment ( much more solid than banks and wall street no a days) by purchasing a piece of art, then why is it bad for that person to spend his or her hard earned money any way they see fit. And who on gods earth can say he should have just given it away.

    February 11, 2010 at 4:34 am | Reply

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