Brad Pitt drops a million dollars on racecar art

It’s never been any kind of secret that Brad Pitt loves his contemporary and modern art. He loves big, expensive pieces, too – big marble tables, Banksy sculptures, and now, a large, million-dollar oil painting by German artist Neo Rauch. Yesterday, the news broke that after Brad had gone to Washington to visit Angelina, he jetted off to Art Basel in Switzerland. Early indications were that he was looking to buy a work by American artist Jim Hodges. Turned out, Brad got into Neo Rauch instead. I was sort of rooting for the Hodges, actually. His work was prettier, and nine-foot wide racecar paintings aren’t for everyone – even if Brad meant this purchase to be a belated birthday gift for Angelina’s 34th.

A belated 34th birthday gift for Angelina?

On Tuesday, Brad Pitt dropped major bucks at Art Basel, an international art show for modern and contemporary works in Basel, Switzerland.

The actor spent $956,000 on a Neo Rauch oil painting, entitled Etappe, according to Bloomberg. The 9-foot-wide painting, done in 1998, shows a swirling view of a driver behind a red racecar, with workers nearby carrying hoses.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Pitt eyed the painting for several minutes while rubbing his goatee and fidgeting with his tweed hat. He initially walked away. “He’s on the fence. Nothing wrong with that, I guess,” New York dealer David Zwirner said.

But within minutes, Pitt returned with Los Angeles collectors Eli and Edythe Broad and made the big purchase.

It wasn’t the first time Pitt splurged on art.

Last year, he bought a white marble table by a Dutch designer and an aluminum rug by a Colombian designer at the same show.

[From US Weekly]

According to the tabloids, Brad’s passion for art has consistently been a sore spot in his relationship with Angelina. First, Angelina wanted Brad to simply get rid of (sell?) his art collection. After that, it seemed the millions of dollars Brad dropped yearly on his art was one of their biggest fights. Most of Brad’s pieces will likely grow in value through the years, though. If he’s serious about his passion, he will likely hold on to this stuff for decades, or perhaps never sell the stuff. Who knows? Maybe Angelina told Brad before he left, “Buy me something with racecars, please!”

Brad Pitt is shown in the header on 5/20/09 at Cannes. Credit: Fame Pictures. Picture below is of Pitt’s new purchase, David Zwirner’s 1998 piece Etappe via Art Basel’s website


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28 Responses to “Brad Pitt drops a million dollars on racecar art”

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  1. ash says:

    I’m sorry, but a MILLION for that? Pick up some brushes and do it yourself. I’m guessing a hobby lobby trip would do the trick.

    I only say this because I paint, and this just really annoys me.

  2. Candi says:

    He spent a million dollars on that piece of crap? lol

    I thought Brad and Angie were all about saving the world,and they claim that most of the money they make goes to charity….

    Nothing charitable about material possessions.

    1 million dollars could be spent in so many more important ways.

    For example,I’m dirt poor,I would be happy if someone sent me a few thousand dollars…lol

    Oh well,he works hard for his money,so I guess he can spend it how he wants to.

  3. wow says:

    That’s like 10 cents to him.

    I like this painting though.

  4. Dr_Venkman says:

    It’s a Rauch painting, meaning it will double it’s price within the year.

    @Ash: bitter, are you?
    Judging art is really silly.

  5. Nina says:

    So reports are that Angie and Brad are on the outs and the old rumor is that Angie thought Brad’s art collecting was annoying and ridiculous… so… Brad buys Angie a giant million dollar painting of a race car… passive agressive anyone?

  6. clare says:

    That’s a piece of art to hang on the wall in the bedroom. Brad knows his Angie.

  7. Tess says:

    @ Clare: LOL

    But, Holy Crap….What’s wrong with judging art? Are we just supposed to passively accept everything—art, ideas—as having equal value and merit?

    Is art something so elevated that we peasants should refrain from making a comment?

    IMHO, there’s nothing wrong with anybody expressing an opinion.

  8. ash says:

    Judging art is fun – I can have an opinion. So can you.

  9. EduBois says:

    I don’t think one can actually judge a piece of art adequately from a jpg on a website. But yes, we are all entitled to our opinions.

    I am just tired of the usual “how much?” questions about art…yes, it’s highly priced – it’s a luxury market – get over it already. The artist doesn’t reap any rewards on auctions, reselling, etc. So if the purchaser feels it is worth it, move on.

  10. Bellatrix says:

    It’s a Rauch. I agree with Dr_Venkman: it’s a great investment (not sure it will double in a year but it would very possible).

    Plus, it’s one of Rauch’s pieces I find more interesting. Maybe it’s just the candy-like features against that grey and black background…
    And it’s a huge painting too (2m by 3). For an established artist as Rauch, this is the normal asking price on today’s art market, whether one likes the idea or not.

  11. Codzilla says:

    Tess: Good point. I agree in full.

    Dr_Venkman: Should we also refrain from forming opinions about literature, films, music, and every other artistic outlet, as well? Or just the pieces that hang in a museum, or on some rich guy’s wall?

  12. geronimo says:

    Yes, codzilla, we should refrain and not make fools of ourselves in front of the experts that frequent the CB threads. If modern art connoisseur, Bradley Pitt, forked out a million dollars for this, then be told, it’s art, it’s brilliant and he’s brilliant. Got it? 😉

    (I like Rauch very much, just not keen on this particular painting.)

  13. Fan of none... says:

    Isn’t this what rich people do? Buy stuff?

  14. Vivi says:

    Brad Pitt is sooo overrated.

  15. geronimo says:

    Better link for Rauch for anyone interested:

  16. ash says:

    geronimo- good link.

    I wasn’t upset with the artist himself. I just forget people like Brad Pitt spend this kind of money often and it just blows my mind. I didn’t mean to start this huge discussion about judging art. Heh, oh well.

  17. nony says:

    I think the Doctor might of just meant that art is subjective and completely arbitrary, so to say that something is good or bad– IS rather silly. It may not be your taste, but that in no way means that it is bad, or of simple or poor architecture.

  18. Cinderella says:

    Bradley did not buy American. Bitch slap!

  19. michellle says:

    “Judging art is really silly.”

    What an asinine statement.
    Wake up doc, art is subjective.
    Other words for subjective: personal, individual, discretionary, biased & yes … judgmental.

    Judging art is not silly, claiming it is however is indeed idiotic.

    Thanks for the link geronimo.

  20. Chicoulina says:

    I don’t care who the artist is.The painting sucks!I wouldn’t pay a dollar for it.

  21. Ned says:

    Money can’t buy you discerning tastes and artistic inclinations.

    What a waste.

  22. Ned says:

    Too bad they didn’t even donate the money they made out of their children’s pictorials and interviews.
    So much for charitable giving.

    I believe there are plenty of sick children waiting for medical research to find a cure for their medical problems…

  23. Ursula says:

    He wouldn’t know if it sucked, he is too busy trying to show that he has enough brains and balls to appreciate art and architecture. Everyone knows he is dumb like sheep.

  24. Cheyenne says:

    I wouldn’t pay 95 cents for that painting, never mind $956,000. But what the hell, it’s his money.

  25. Dr_Venkman says:

    Just to clear things up: my comment “judging art is silly” was meant in a way that judging it on technical terms, such as “get a brush and do it yourself” or “I could do that, why don’t I get that kind of money” are silly.

    Everyone should have an opinion about it, absolutely. And since, ultimately, it’s a matter of taste, you can’t argue about it 😉

  26. Dr_Venkman says:

    and, from the above statement, you might have guessed that english is not my mother tongue 😉

  27. HUH? says:

    I kinda like the painting…but I sure as hell wouldn’t pay a mil for it.

    but yep, it’s his money, he’s got a lot of it, and he can spend it on whatever he wants.

    lol at Cinderella’s comment…

  28. Magsy says:

    I just think he’s playing the Hollywood big shot, big movie star part,check out his scarves and hats and shit. I just don’t think there’s really any depth to him. He’s rubbed off as much as he could being married to Angelina. But deep down he’s still just a pretty boy, and an average actor who has been blessed with good timing, good projects and knowing the right people.