Tapping into popular sentiment, Alex Schaefer’s painting of a Chase bank on fire just sold on eBay for $25,200. Part of what drove up the price was online buzz after police questioned him while he was painting it, asking him if he planned to do what the painting depicted.
“They told me that somebody had called and said they felt threatened by my painting,” Schaefer told the LAT.
Schaefer said no to the cops, that it was simply a landscape painting that was a “visual metaphor for the havoc that banking practices have caused to the economy.”
Later detectives visited his house and asked if he was a terrorist. He re-explained what the painting was about and they left.
After the story attracted attention, Schaefer decided to put it and other paintings of banks on fire, like one of a burning Bank of America branch, on eBay. He would let the free market decide their value.
The international buyers of the paintings have invited him to visit them at their homes in Europe. Schaefer says that if he goes there he might paint some burning German and British banks, after researching the freedom-of-speech laws in the counties.
Artist’s burning-bank paintings are hot commodities [LAT] (Thanks to Tina!)
Chase bank, painting en plein air, and the LAPD [alexanderschaefer.blogspot.com]
a chilling effect on speech [alexanderschaefer.blogspot.com]