Mr. Cohen’s purchase,”Police Gazette,” is described in the Times as one of the artist’s “more abstract canvases, primarily yellow, red and green.” Others might say it looks a bit like an exploded taxi cab.
Whatever it resembles, it is a lot less fearsome than Damien Hirst’s “The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living,” for which Mr. Cohen paid $8 million two years ago. That work consists of a 14-foot shark suspended in a glass tank. The shark has since begun to rot and is now being painstakingly replaced with another, slightly smaller one — a process that apparently requires 224 gallons of formaldehyde, among other things.
An $8mm shark in formaldehyde that rots and must be replaced every two years isn’t art, it’s an incredibly inefficient way to spend money that could have been spent on bottle service. Alterntatively, it’s an incredibly efficient way to WASTE money. Previously, someone who — like Mr. Cohen — had money to burn might have bought an expensive shark tank with live sharks. But Mr. Cohen raises the bar on the efficiency of waste by spending 80x as much for a shark tank with a rotting shark corpse. The sheer brilliance of this frivolousness is hard to comprehend.
Over the last few years, Mr. Cohen’s annual earnings have varied between $428mm (2001) and ~$1bn (2005) adding up to a fortune now estimated at $5bn. Such huge, rapid gains in wealth have clearly caused him to increase his investment in the research and development of new, efficient ways to waste large sums of money.
Rotting shark corpses are an early sign that this research has paid off. Note the brilliant use of a unique art artifact, making other stupillionaires hesistant to directly copy his maneuver.
Recommendation: We see a long term rise in top-tier spenders’ ability to fritter away stupefying amounts of money. Go long cyrogenically-frozen elephants, a likely next target for money-wasting.Related Reseach: