Art or con job? Danish artist makes off with nearly $84,000

Art or con job? Danish artist makes off with nearly $84,000

“I encourage others who have just as miserable working conditions as I to do the the same,” says the artist.
30 Sep, 2021

A Danish artist who was was given a pile of money by a museum with which to create a piece of artwork, submitted two empty canvases — titled Take the Money and Run.

Jens Haaning was given the equivalent of nearly $84,000 in Danish kroner and euro bank notes by the Kunsten Museum of Modern Art in Aalborg.

For its exhibition on labor conditions and money, entitled Work It Out that opened Sept 24, the museum commissioned him to recreate two of his earlier pieces, which featured bank notes attached to a canvas representing the average annual wage in Denmark and Austria. As well as lending him the notes, the museum also paid him 25,000 kroner ($3,900) for the work.

But when museum officials received the completed artworks, they were blank.

“The artwork is that I have taken the money,” Haaning told a radio show on the P1 channel that is part of Danish broadcaster DR this week. He declined to say where the money was.

Haaning, who is known as a provocateur, said the artwork represented his current work situation.

“I encourage others who have just as miserable working conditions as I to do the the same,” Haaning told P1. “If they are being asked to give money to go to work, then take the money and run.”

The museum says Haaning has broken the agreement on how to use the money. However, it has not yet decided whether to report Haaning to the police if the money is not returned before the exhibition ends in January.

Haaning, however, denies having committed a crime and insists he did produce a work of art.

“It’s not theft, it is a breach of contract, and the breach of contract is part of the work,”Haaning told P1. He was not reachable for comment on Wednesday.


Sane Mind1st Sep 30, 2021 01:20pm
Brainy and practical guy he is.
funnyman Sep 30, 2021 02:07pm
Fine Art market is and has always been a scam. Forbes, Bloomberg, every major economist has published extensive research on how Fine Arts is an absolute scam market with inflated prices over pieces of garbage. The Art sold in a flea Market is same if not better than the Mona Lisa. The only distinction between the two is not skill or objective criteria, it is simply who caught a rich preppy's eye
Shahram Sep 30, 2021 04:43pm
I think i have the genuine Replica for this Art piece at my Nana's house.
HashBrown® Sep 30, 2021 05:47pm
@funnyman 100% agree with you brother.
chengez k Sep 30, 2021 07:19pm
Just like our Mian sahab !!
Vijay B. Sep 30, 2021 10:31pm
After all conning others could also be considered an art form no?
Memon Abdul Oct 01, 2021 09:08am
To be able to close this deal is in itself art... Don't know much about value of framed white paper.
Nadeem khan Oct 02, 2021 04:23am
He has done what he thinks is right an Art is also a blank sheet . That says the miserable conditions of Artists. He did right