“Non-Visible” Art Carries a Stiff Price Tag

Hey, Pssst!  Want a Great Deal on an Invisible Pony?

I recently read a story about newly styled art aficionado Aimee Davison, who paid the notable sum  of $10,000 for a “non-visible” piece of art.  Asked why she spent so much money on something she couldn’t see, Aimee explained that she identified with the ideology of the project.  In particular, she was inspired by one sentence:

 “We exchange ideas and dreams as currency in the New Economy.”

 The work, aptly titled “Fresh Air,” is the creation of versatile actor-producer-director-painter-performance artist James Franco, whose screen credits have included a leading role in the short-lived television cult hit Freaks and Geeks and a Golden Globe-winning performance as James Dean in a TV production.

Until this newest venture into Art and Invisibility, Franco’s most notable achievement was his Oscar-winning portrayal of Harry Osborn in the Spider-Man trilogy.

It was through his latest creative enterprise, the Museum of Non-Visible Art, that Franco negotiated the sale of his pièce de résistance.  In the “MONA,” as he calls it, WORKS OF ART DON’T ACTUALLY EXIST EXCEPT IN THE MIND OF THE ARTIST.  According to the Museum’s self-description, it is:

…An extravaganza of imagination, a museum that reminds us that we live in two worlds: the physical world of sight and the non-visible world of thought. Composed entirely of ideas, the Non-Visible Museum redefines the concept of what is real. Although the artworks themselves are not visible, the descriptions open our eyes to a parallel world built of images and words. This world is not visible, but it is real, perhaps more real than the world of matter, and it is also for sale.

So when you purchase a “work of art” from the Museum  of Non-Visible Art, what you actually receive is a “card” which you can hang on a blank wall.  Then, you can “describe the art” to your admiring friends and associates.

Paste Magazine offered a breathy description of  “Fresh Air”:

A unique piece, only this one is for sale. The air you are purchasing is like buying an endless tank of oxygen. No matter where you are, you always have the ability to take a breath of the most delicious, clean-smelling air that the earth can produce. Every breath you take gives you endless peace and health. This artwork is something to carry with you if you own it. Because wherever you are, you can imagine yourself getting the most beautiful taste of air that is from the mountain tops or fields or from the ocean side; it is an endless supply.

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Aimee Davison, the buyer of Franco’s “Fresh Air”, is a self-described “new media producer.”

Indeed, this is not her first foray into the world of bizarre and useless business ventures.  In 2011, Davison “sold her soul” on Craigslist for $100. 

Smart, sassy, Davison interviewed the good sport who played Dr. Faustus in this ersatz morality play, shelling out the cash to “buy her soul.”  In a man-on-the-street style interview with her soul’s purchaser, she raised some interesting metaphysical questions:

  • What is a soul? 
  • Can you buy a soul?
  • Or do we all sell our souls on social media?

Deep questions, coming from a girl who just wants to have fun!

 Some days you’ve just gotta laugh.  And laugh some more.