A Van Gogh!

A Van Gogh!
From the artists at ArtWorks945

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


That is how much Charlie’s painting has brought in so far.

So what does that mean? 

First, it means that I have thrown a conceptual uppercut to the Appraiser’s thesis.   Since I only went to one Mixed Martial Arts class, I don’t reckon I could throw a real upper cut that would do anyone much harm.  But I do think that the Appraiser’s thesis, namely that that the damage to Charlie’s painting has rendered it worthless, has been sufficiently refuted. 

Second, it means that Charlie’s painting now bears two historically significant marks.  Not only is it perhaps the purest example of a painting that has been improved as a result of inadvertent damage but it is also the source of empirical evidence against the worldview that in a previous post I called Appraisery

Appraisery is a worldview that emphasizes the importance of money both in human affairs in general and in matters of art in particular.  It is a worldview against which it makes perfect sense to assert that Falling Down Man is worthless as a result of its damage.  Likewise, it is a worldview against which it makes sense to say that homeless people are worth less than others because they have been economically damaged. 

The fact that Charlie’s painting has brought in such a sizeable chunk of money provides, I contend, empirical evidence against Appraisery.  Anyone who has delved into philosophical affairs will know just how difficult it is to gather evidence for or against a worldview.   And I at least know of no other painting that can claim to be the source of such evidence.  So Charlie’s painting, as I have just mentioned, now bears a second quite interesting historically significant mark.

And what is perhaps most pleasing from a conceptual point of view is the fact that the evidence against Appraisery has come from people’s willingness to donate money.  Conceptually speaking, it is as if money has eaten itself.  Indeed, there is such a beautiful irony to the evidence against Appraisery that I can’t help but once again feel the hand of the Universe at play.

In addition to these conceptual issues, the money so far bid for Charlie’s painting also has practical implications. 

I asked Tyler Helfrich, the director of Artworks945 for a list of their expenses.  Here are some of them.

10-ride bus passes for job searches  -- $14 each

1-ride passes to help artists get to appointments and interviews -- $30/month

Acrylic paint -- $100-$200/month

Canvases -- $5 each; $100/month

A large-scale canvas for collaborative paintings -- $80 each (one per month)

These are just a few of their expenses.  Clearly, running an art gallery for the homeless is an expensive affair.  And the amount Charlie’s painting has so far raised is really a drop in a very large bucket. 

But that is all the more reason to hope that people continue to bid on his painting. 

So anyone who wants to contribute to a great organization or who wants to add more evidence against Appraisery, please go to the following page where you can donate money to ArtWorks945. 

In the comments section, be sure to put the words: For ArtWorks945/The Van Gogh Project.  In that way, your money will go to ArtWorks945, and I will be able to track the increasing evidence against the Appraiser’s worldview.

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