My friend, Jase, has just come back from New York. He is a software developer and was in the Big Apple meeting with some potential investors. Jase is one of those computer nerd types who knows everything there is to know about software (and then some) but the vagaries of business leave him like a blackbird that has lost the power of flight, listing in the wind.
One of Jase’s potential investors had the whole team over for dinner at his apartment overlooking Central Park. You must realise that to many Aussies Central Park has an almost mythical quality – many of us will never actually have the opportunity to see it – so Jase was overwhelmed just being there.
The investor wasted no time in showing Jase around his luxurious pad, complete with separate quarters for the butler; not forgetting to highlight his 300 million dollar art collection. He could afford it because he apparently was the 110th richest man in the world, a fact which he reminded his guests of with irritating frequency.
Before getting into computers Jase had trained as an art historian and critic so he was very interested in the investor’s collection. Mark Rothko was an abstract artist famous for work like this.
He is one of Jase’s favourite artists so he was very excited when the 110th richest man in the world told him he had his own Rothko. It was hung perfectly in his study with just the right lighting; trouble was, it was upside down. Jase was horrified. I haven’t stopped laughing about it since.
It reminds me of the days when Jake used to do that scribbling kind of painting toddlers do. He would hand his work to me proudly, waiting for me to hang it up. The problem with scribble however, is that it can be difficult to tell which end is up. I offended Jake many times by hanging it the wrong way round. Eventually he would get sick of my lack of artistic appreciation and just rip it off the wall. I wonder if Mark Rothko would have done the same in the investor’s apartment. Maybe one of the drawbacks of being the 110th richest man in the world is not knowing the upside from the down.