Who’s next?



Sarah Pedramnia

For a while I have been observing the response to the recently bought painting Amedeo Modigiliani’s ‘Nu couché‘ (1917-18), the second highest price painting at auction, sold for U$ 170.000.000.

The first responses I got were simply in admiration of the work until I was surprised by a friend’s quote: “Nice but requires the final touch!” I’m not sure what her intention was but that was where my golden opportunity arose.


What kind of final touch is missing? A friend quoted “the U$ 170.000.000 was the final touch!”

I bet that is. “How amazing an artwork needs to be to be worth hundred;s or maybe thousand’s shelter?” I asked. I went on: “Was the purchaser from China? A country with communist beliefs? Hadn’t they condemned art for many years? Are they changing?” Of course they are as Germany is not Adolf Hitler. Was never. . .

(Of course many had competed for the touch!) “Yes the buyer is from China.”


I never intend to be political but our realities everyday are tied to inevitable historical and political events. Aren’t they?



I soon got a Chinese friend’s comments:


– “As long as it has the price tag of $170 million, who cares it is Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa or what his name is? That is the newly rich generation in China. They bought art because it is an investment. If people said Andy Warhol is famous, then Andy Warhol must be a good artist! If Pollock’s dripping paint can auction for millions of dollars, it must be a good art! It makes me Sick!”

– “A Jewish artist did a painting based on this one called, “The American Beauty series” with bleached blonde hair and dark pubic hair!”

– “Not All classical music is good; but almost all contemporary music is noisy . . .”. And of course more of his viewpoint which I respect and don’t argue on. For more reference you may wish to contact him (GEORGE WU, AIA, ARCHITECT, NCARB 2015-11-11) or go to my page on LinkedIn but his last Phrase and what I was waiting for to move on the controversy was that “everything is measured by money these days!”. Yes, Yes, Yes, Yes!


“Dear George,

Let’s shake hands. The last sentence you wrote apart from all the viewpoints we exchanged is what makes me so angry that I want to shout and scream, “Why?!” Everything has a price tag these days. Many of us have learnt business and lost humanity, a one-way path and people like you and me have to Wait, Waste and Watch (Starving people . . .)

New aristocracy/ aristocrats are being introduced to us from China, Iran and Arab countries, and this is all due to unfair political and economical distribution in these countries. Businesses develop but average people advance to a certain degree.

Many of these aristocrats are the least educated and they have and will destroy the balance in upper-class and reshape it. Let’s observe the wings of “Persian Fat Boys”, attached to certain … are just getting open by sanctions’ removal and/Or, they will march freely to the next auctions with their cash and bank credits. I bet.”


I add the response to my message and then I’ll end my open discussion and trust your judgments with a simple question:

“What do You think?”


– “SARAH, I would not be surprised if Andy Warhol would double his worth within ten years. The buyer probably never heard of Mona Lisa before, but $170 million dollars can buy many Picasso and then, they will turn to Billons later.

– SARAH, I am being very sad here. I seemed to know what’s good for me. What I should be doing in architecture, art and International Ballroom Dancing. And yet, I couldn’t. I cannot fight the whole world being at the age of 78. . .! I started as a full time waiter in New York from Hong Kong at the age of 19. And worked part time as a waiter to be a registered architect, working for the best architectural firms in the world, S.O.M., I.M.Pei, etc. and ended up to be a poor architect. Nobody will hire an old man anymore.” (George Wu, AIA, ARCHITECT, NCARB 2015-11-11.)

– Four years ago, when I tried to find a job in the Chinese Embassy in New York, “You are too old!” But in 1967, when I was 30, I applied in the same office once before. After the interview, I never heard from them anymore.”


I’m almost done here but let me add another informative note by a friend:

– “The artist here, Modigliani, died penniless in a garret cot amid empty sardine tins. The next day his pregnant wife, the woman in the painting, threw herself backward out the top floor window.

– So sad that they didn’t benefit from the millions this artwork sold for. . .”


I see you next time in another auction won by the “Fat Guy”!







Sarah Pedramnia

I was born in 1983 in Tehran, Iran. I grew up in a family with humanist values and beliefs and was three when we realized that I was epileptic and was twelve when I realized that I have more to do than a normal person to be able to stand in society.

In 2009 I went to university and studied English Translation and am working on my thesis for a Masters. I have been working on poetry writing and fiction as a freelance writer and undertake complimentary literature studies.

I have approximately 50-80 poems in Persian and a few poems in English. I consider myself not as a professional English poet but with good potential and some good English poems.

I started writing two novels in Persian last year, ’10 days in love’ and ‘Two days in Paris’ and may just turn them into scripts.
Along with poetry, I am writing a story in English ‘The Lady Lavender’ which is a story of the conflicts and life of a woman in the 1970s, not accepted by society due to certain circumstances. Her name was chosen by the process of making Lavender Oil, in which you should first cut the sprigs and then let them dry. It was after my divorce three years ago that my perception radically changed and most of my works reflect my own life and challenges faced in my country as a member and in life as a woman.

1 Comment

  1. Lambert Speelman November 25, at 12:35

    Dear Sarah, I enjoyed reading this article and to hear that you keep your own worth as a human being. I count you as a friend who is priceless. Stay strong in your beliefs and appraisals with all discretion! Kindest Regards, Lambert Speelman


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