Featured Stories | Jennifer & Bill

Artist “Takes the Money” and runs, artistic genius or con artist?

A Danish artist was commissioned to paint a work of art by the Kunsten Museum. He was paid $84,000 by a museum to use as part of the display.
Instead, the artist, Jens Haaning, gave the Kunsten Museum of Modern Art in Aalborg, Denmark two blank canvases and said they were titled “Take the Money and Run.”
The museum is now demanding its money back.

“We also have a contract that the money $84,000 US dollars to be displayed in the work is not Jens’ and that it must be paid back when the exhibition closes on 16 January 2022,” Andersson said.

Andersson said the artis agreed to the contract and indicated “it’s a fairly easy job.” Of course it was because he didn’t create anything except a buzz.

“The curator received an email in which Jens Haaning wrote that he had made a new piece of art work and changed the work title into ‘Take the Money and Run,'” Andersson said. “Subsequently, we could ascertain that the money had not been put into the work.”

Yes, the canvas and frames delivered were empty with not even a stick figure featured.

When Andersson finally saw “Take the Money and Run,” he actually laughed out loud. “Jens is known for his conceptual and activistic art with a humoristic touch. And he gave us that – but also a bit of a wake up call as everyone know wonders were did the money go,” he said.

According to Haaning’s press release, “the idea behind was to show how salaries can be used to measure the value of work and to show national differences within the European Union. But by changing the title of the work to “Take the Money and Run” Haaning “questions artists’ rights and their working conditions in order to establish more equitable norms within the art industry.”