The Value Of Nothing

Some quotes are just as relevant today as they were over a century ago. It’s no secret that Oscar Wilde was indeed an epic human being and his fate was just another proof that society will forsake the great talent for a religious dogma. He was born ahead of his time and if you asked me who’s the person I’d like to hang out with the most, it would probably be Oscar Wilde, just because he can define a generation in one sentence, and he’ll be spot on for the next hundred years.

The reason why this has come to mind today, is the sale of the Picasso painting at the auction for £115 million just in 11 minutes. It’s official now the most expensive piece of art sold at the auction in a record time. Now make no mistake, I appreciate great money. I am not great with it and up until now I my financial skills were the equivalent of a toddler running with scissors, however I have a strong believe that having a solid financial platform is by far the one of the most essential things in life and one should never neglect their financial wellbeing. I also appreciate great art – from a great distance.

I always get funny when it comes to people spending grand amount of cash on things that are seemingly not worth it. Like this painting for example. But you’ll say “who is she to judge?” and you’ll be right. There are people called “experts” who are getting paid to say things like: his is a fine painting, by a great artist, produced at an important time in his career.” I studied design at the university and over three years of studying art mechanics I complete lost the sight of art soul which is what art is really about. With my non-expert eye, as a work of art in terms of materials used and execution, it’s probably not worth that much, but wait till we add the value.

Value is purely subjective notion, it’s an internal state of mind, it’s our set of rules, it’s our loses and victories which define the value. We pay for the stuff what we believe is a fair trade – value for money all the way. Take the designer bag for example – the cost of making a bag is relatively tiny comparing to it’s face value in the store. When you add name, prestige, status, exclusivity and, as a result, creating scarcity, its price soars way beyond any rationalisation. Did Picasso placed such value upon his painting? We’ll never know, we can only guess. What’s the value of inspiration and imagination? What’s the value of sleepless nights, self doubt, what’s the value of hope and fear that this painting might turn up be a failure? What’s the value of genius?

The intimidating truth is that £115 million in reality could probably restore an entire Kathmandu after its devastating earthquake. Would this be value for money buy? At the times of the adversity, especially in the countries stricken by natural disasters, we underestimate the scale of loss that we have experienced. It’s not only tangible things that we can measure, such as destroyed temples and buildings, it’s the loss of human life and possible the future for those who have survived. What’s the value of life or the opportunity to be happy?

If you had a chance, what would you choose?

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The Value Of Nothing

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