One Thousand Paintings and Money Series Creators

The Australian artist Anthony White of the Money Series paintings and the Swiss artist Marcel “Sala” Salathe of the One Thousand Paintings series have teamed up to create painting bonds.

A bond is basically a loan with an agreed figure to be repaid upon maturity. So, the Bond paintings are bought at a price (determined by an eBay auction), and Anthony and Sala will agree to buy the painting back for a price.

Painting bonds

I probably complicated that description, so I’ll use theirs.. “A Salathé & White painting is a debt security, in which Salathé & White owe the highest bidder a debt (indicated on the painting) and they are obliged to repay the debt upon safe return during a specific month that is indicated on the painting.” Salathe and White

As an example, their first Bond painting (pictured above) promises to pay the buyer of the work $1,063 USD in February 2008 upon its safe return to the artists. The painting is for auction on eBay and the current bid is $53. Which means that it is currently a very good investment that would return about $1000 in a couple months for a commitment of $53!

So they are further blurring the link between art and commerce. Is it art? Is it an investment? Is it just a gimmick? Are they making fun of art buyers? Are they just great businessmen? Who knows..

See the website of Anthony White here or the website of the Swiss artist Sala here.

Update: The highest bid for the first bond painting is now at US $1,286!! There’s still eight days left of the auction, so I don’t think the bidding has stopped yet. As a “bond” it is no longer a good investment, but as a work of art, the verdict is still out.

Update 2: The first bond painting by Sala and Anthony White was sold for $1,286. So it wouldn’t make sense for the buyer to return the painting to the artists for $1,063 in February.

Here’s a quote that seems appropriate for this post..
“Making money is art and working is art and good business is the best art.” Andy Warhol

See also:  Anthony White Interview, Five Dollars, 1000 Paintings Imitator

About Dion

Australian artist and observer of things.. all kinds of things. I like a wide variety of art, from the weird and wonderful to the bold and beautiful.. and everything in between.


  1. The bid is now above the ‘value’ of the piece. Interesting marketing idea – shows that a little bit of hype can create such a demand. Perhaps these will really be worth something in 5 or 10 years from now. As far as the ‘art’ goes, I don’t see where it is.

  2. Don’t know what is more astonishing: The fact that the art market is apparently so willing to play this financial “bluff” (sorry Marcel and Anthony, it’s not meant to be an insult at all), or the fact that this kind of art – let’s call it financial art – , which is obviously largely dependent on the existence of the internet, only emerges nowadays, instead of a few years ago as soon as the internet was born … anyway, congratulations for finding a “perpetual motion” mechanism for the price of your artworks!

  3. Anonymous says:

    “good business is the best art.” ?
    wtf,… If the objective is to make money, then it’s probably not art, just as britney spears is not real music. it’s sad that some artists think this way.

  4. stupid.

    Just stupid.


  1. [...] Salathé and White auctioned another art bonds painting recently; it sold for $960 USD and can be returned to the artists for 1,369 Euro in March 2009. I mentioned their first art bonds painting here. [...]

  2. […] >> Controversies, One Thousand Paintings […]

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