What a Mess, 2018

Mixed Media

Acrylic on aluminium

48.00 x 48.00 in

121.9 x 121.9 cm

Unique Work

This work is signed by the artist on verso.

$20,000 - $30,000

About The Work

During financial panics, the legendary investor J.P. Morgan was known for playing the card game solitaire while contemplating different strategies and bailouts. Jimmy Cayne, the ex-CEO of Bear Stearns, notoriously and irresponsibly was regularly out of town playing bridge as his firm plunged towards it demise. The failing of Bear Stearns led to JP Morgan (the firm not its deceased namesake) buying Bear for $2 (later upped to $10). These two elements motivate the fictional letter scribbled on the piece: "hey jimmy, I’ll give you $2 (10) but next time you should play solitaire. Regards, JP Morgan".

Drawing on the actual events of the negotiations between the companies, Saiers also brings the practical elements to life. During a frantic weekend of negotiations between JP Morgan, Bear, and the Fed, one potential offer disappeared, only to be replaced by another after the Fed invoked section 13(3) of the Federal Reserve Act which allowed it to help “bailout" a portion of Bear Stearns. The urgent and exhaustive communications over this pivotal weekend demanded a cell phone that was well charged and not dead. The artist used numerous cell phone chargers dangling from the painting as a reminder of the time sensitivity and multitude of actors at play in a deal of this magnitude, and how the complexity plays out practically.

Courtesy of HG Contemporary

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