There are rich people, and then, there are the super rich of the rich — you know, these are the kind of people who just randomly decide that they want to drop $10,000 for a Birkin handbag or $117 million for a Monet or Renoir painting, and it’s really no big deal for them. We got a taste of what that looks like yesterday afternoon, when we attended a divorce auction for an extremely wealthy couple who is in the midst of divorce proceedings. Chris found a flier in our mailbox advertising that the divorce auction would be held at the JW Marriott yesterday afternoon, and in addition to an endless collection of diamonds, rubies, sapphires, and emeralds, we’d also be getting the ability to bid on authentic fine art, from artists ranging from Monet, Renoir, Pissarro, and Van Gogh, to Miro and Peter Max. This was completely insane to me.
The flier stated that all of these items were simply in storage for the longest time, so not even a private family was actively enjoying them in their own home. This completely infuriated me. In my opinion, paintings by artists as famous and talented as Monet or Van Gogh truly need to be made public; why should only one person or a small circle of people be able to enjoy them? It just seems so selfish.
Oddly enough, the auction was not that large, and it was likely because we were in the middle of the summer period, when many of these “units” who would be bidding would likely be out sunning in the Hamptons or traveling to Europe for their summer vacations. Those leading the auction kept making statements making it very obvious that they were insulted at the prices being proposed for bidding. I couldn’t even believe it; an authentic Van Gogh went for only a few hundred dollars; a Camille Pissarro went for $7,500. It seemed almost like robbery. But hey, what a deal for the people who bid and won the auction on these!
We didn’t last very long; we left probably about an hour and a half into the auction. It wasn’t as exciting as I thought it would be, and I was hoping to see a bigger variety of works. Not to say that the collection was something to sneeze at; it just always shocks me, even though it shouldn’t, how much wealth some families have, and exactly how selfish they are with it.