2:10pm

Tue September 13, 2011
The Two-Way

Painting Of A Burning Bank Fetches $25,000 At Auction

One California artist has made some serious money with a series of paintings that have struck a chord internationally. In an auction on Ebay, Alex Schaefer sold a 22-by-28 inch oil painting of a burning Chase Bank branch in Los Angeles for $25,200.

Schaefer tells The Los Angeles Times that his painting is a "visual metaphor for the havoc that banking practices have caused to the economy."

Prior to the sale, the painting got media attention, because it caught the eye of police. According to Schaefer's blog, he was visited by police twice. One time they asked if he was a terrorist. He said he wasn't and the police went on their way.

Schaefer has painted a series of burning banks, which are detailed in his blog. He's painted a burning Bank of America bank and several different Chase branches. The Times reports that in February he plans to show the paintings at a show called "Disaster Capitalism."

One interesting read of paintings comes from the Los Angeles blog L.A. Taco, which notes a bit of irony in how expensive the pieces have gotten:

The irony is that now the only people who can afford to buy his work are the same people who looted the financial system in the first place – bankers. Actually, there's a second work available with a current bid at only $2,750.

Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.