Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Klee-Free, Sorry to Say

Have you seen the 2006 documentary Who the (Bleep) is Jackson Pollock? It's about a woman who buys an enormous "drip" painting from a thrift store for a sick friend who will not be able to keep it because it's too big to fit through the trailer door.

Friends encourage her to have it appraised. Art critics are skeptical about the unsigned work, but Pollock's fingerprint ultimately is found on the back of the canvas. In the years she has chased down its forensic history, no one has offered her the $50 million she says its worth.

I'm not sure her art experience has a happy ending, but it is one mind-blowing tale.

I tend to collect stories about people finding valuable paintings for nearly nothing. A $12.34 Calder lithograph at Goodwill ($9,000). A $7 Renoir at a Virginia flea market ($75, 000 to $100,000). My favorite is the public library in my hometown of Bronxville, NY, sold its donated (and overlooked for 50 years) Childe Hassam for over $4 million. 

Is there anything better than art with a killer happy ending?

Which is why I have rescinded my vow to not go to antique/thrift/junk/garage/markets in order to spare this house and my life from anything more except overlooked, priceless pieces of art.

Sadly, it appears that I am not alone on this quest.

The Bolingbrook Goodwill store was abuzz this morning with shoppers, many of whom were businessmen browsing on their lunch hour. (I say take your bluetooths and get back to work, businessmen.)

Scanning, scanning....
Bad art everywhere.

Really bad. 

Is it too much to ask to find a nice Paul Klee for a tiny price

instead of miles of bad flowers, fish, third place golf awards and Hannah Montana?

My pal Nancy says the odds of my finding a valuable piece of crystal are much greater. 

She may be right. But I want art.

PS My cousin John may have found a textile designed and painted by Marc Chagall. He is on the hunt to find out as much about it as possible. If its provenance can be proved, it may be worth considerably more than its $25 price tag.

I can feel my luck getting closer.

Each week, Naperville Now participates in Mrs. Matlock's Alphabe-Thursday. Read what other Alphabetarians are writing about the letter K here.


Irene said...

I don't shop at second hand stores because of the dust factor (allergies) but I hope for you that you do run into a Renoir, although a famous American painter would be more likely. xox

Johanna said...

I think I found a Degas in Mom's attic.

EG CameraGirl said...

Hey, you could be just as lucky as anyone else. I say if this is a hunt you enjoy, then go for it! My fingers are crossed for you.

Carol L McKenna said...

Klee on ~ one never knows and you are having fun, no?

Carol of A Creative Harbor ^_^

debra @ homespun said...

funny K post : )

Rocky Mountain Woman said...

You never know, it could happen one day...

Tracy said...

I thought I had stumbled on a piece of valuable china but sadly not good luck with your hunt

Esther Joy said...

Instead of looking through art in good will stores, I've been going through old photos of my husband's family - some VERY old, like over 100 years. I wish I would have paid more attention and took more notes while his granny was alive! Value seems to diminish somewhat when you don't know what you've got!

VBR said...

Oh the Glee if you were to find a Klee for a tiny Fee!
Even if you don't find a masterpiece, I hope you enjoy the search!

Leovi said...

Art and the market is largely economic interests alone. There are many good artists that are being despising and robbing.

Lola said...

Hi again!

Many thanks for stopping by my blog!

Such an interesting *K* post – great pics.

Have a great Alphabe-Thursday and weekend too,

Visiting from Alphabe-Thursday

JDaniel4's Mom said...

I so hope you find a one on one of your visits.

Judie said...

I'd go just to look for good frames! Finding a masterpiece would definitely be a plus though. Hahahaha!

Scudds Harrison said...

Very nice and fun k post. It's weekend so soon and you carry on klee-ry on!


Cindy @ Dwellings-The Heart of Your Home said...

I've heard so many stories like this, however, I'm afraid I wouldn't know a fine piece of art if I saw it.
Thanks so much for visiting. :)

Hope you have a GREAT week!

Monica said...

A new Goodwill is opening near us next week...I'm going to have to go visit!

Jenny said...

Oh man.

I would kill to find a Klee.

He is one of my absolute favorite artists!

I love these kool stories, too!

Let the hunt go on!

Thanks for the fun post.