A Danish museum wants the artist to return about 534,000 crowns (450,000 Brazilian reais) he received in cash to re-create ancient artwork using banknotes. Despite the commission, he produced whiteboards called “Take the Money and Run”.
Danish artist Jens Henning received the commissioning from the Konsten Museum. He was invited to reproduce two of his works representing the annual salary in Denmark and Austria.
After the artist put the money in his pocket and produced the blank canvases, the museum’s reaction so far has been mixed.
“He messed with my curation team and messed with me a bit too, but I also had to laugh because it was so funny,” Lacy Anderson, director of the museum in Aalborg, told BBC News.
However, Anderson made it clear that the money must be returned when the show is over.
“It’s the museum’s money and we have a contract that says the money will come back on January 16,” he said.
But Hanning, 56, promised to keep the money. “The masterpiece is that I took their money,” he told the dr.dk website.
“I encourage other people with poor working conditions like me to do the same,” he said. According to the artist, the re-creation of his previous works would have cost him 25 thousand crowns (21 thousand Brazilian reais).
In an interview with the BBC, Anderson refuted Hanning’s claim that the museum was not paying him fairly.
“We just signed an agreement with the Danish Artists Association that increases the value artists get when they exhibit,” he said. “I think Janes kind of broke the deal.”
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