Most expensive artwork, ever. 1 Billion dollars as 1 Billion dollars

Art Press Release from Australia. Published by Rebecca Gabrielle Cannon on Wednesday 14 January 2009.

ONE BILLION DOLLAR by Michael Marcovici image

Well, Damien Hirst just got trumped as the most valuable living artist. Michael Marcovici has created an artwork worth a billion dollars, out of a billion dollars.

In the words of the artist “One Billion Dollars is stacked on 12 standard pallets, altogether 10 Million 100 USD Notes. One Billion Dollar is not so much about what you see but what you could do or not do with the money. Besides this it is the most expensive piece of art ever made.

We’ve written to Michael to confirm details, but I’m presuming this is a conceptual art project* which costs a Billion dollars to buy, the payment for which is returned to you as the artwork. Question is, have you purchased the work if you don’t pass over the cash to the artist but rather pile it on 12 pallets yourself? If you have a Billion dollars sitting around on 12 pallets in your garage, are you plagiarising his work?

Those who argue Marcovici isn’t the most valuable living artist until this work has sold are overlooking the inherant value of the artwork, unquestionable in this particular piece.

Whether its resale value will benefit from infamy and artistic worth against the tide of a flailing US Dollar is another issue altogether.

*We’ve had word from the artist there is a strategy currently being employed to physically realise this project… awesome! However Michael points out that "actually no bank has this amount of cash, there are several cash handling facilities where the old money gets exchanged to new notes and where money from large retailers is handled, places like those have sufficient amounts of cash for such an action, the problem is just that it is expensive to do it because timing is very tight already in these places (and security too)… for now its a concept and maybe it will stay one… thats fine, it was mainly to draw attention to the part that value and pricing plays in art and everything else… "

Marcovici’s website

and his Artabase profile