Monday, 7 November 2011

Otis Kaye's The Stock Market

Friday's Independent features Otis Kaye's picture from 1937 called The Stock Market in its Great Works feature. This is a trompe l'oeil work (an ultra-realistic painting technique which gives the illusion of three dimensions) in which dollar bills, government bonds and various other bits of financial paraphernalia appear to be tacked to, or propped up against a three drawer desk. The path of the dollar bills marks out the progess of the Dow Jones Industrial Average between 1929 and 1937, the bear market of the great depression when the DJIA fell from a 1929 high of around 370 to a low of 36.

Kaye was born in Dresden in 1885 and emigrated to the USA where he worked as an engineer. Late in life, during the Cold War, he returned to East Germany. He apparently sold just two paintings in his life and his art was focused on the subject of money.

I am rather taken with this work

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