How Much Would You Pay for Twelve Celebrity Figures to Animatronically Breathe in Your Home?

Image via Getty.
Image via Getty.

This past weekend, Kanye West randomly decided he wanted a gallery opening for the “Famous” figures from his video, inspired by Vincent Desiderio’s “Sleep.” He got one, of course, at Los Angeles’s Blum & Poe, and like most gallery art the piece is on sale for the right buyer.

Blum & Poe’s Tim Blum told the New York Times that he’s treating the figures as he would any piece of art, in the sense that he would negotiate the sale of the breathing wax figurines to some creep. But the price is high: $4 million.

When you tally the materials needed, labor and Mr. West’s name, the $4 million price tag doesn’t seem so outlandish. “I would project a figure about that,” Mr. Blum said.

“To be honest, we did it for the sake of doing it,” Mr. Blum continued. “The show and project were not done with price or sale in mind. But I would act upon it as every other piece of art I handle.”


The NYT also interviewed artist Aaron Axelrod, who said, “I did the math in my head, and it took $500,000 to a million just to make it.” Honestly, it probably cost more. I bet Kim and Kanye pay way more than they need to for everything. Except Airbnb.

While four million dollars is a lot, people have certainly paid an exorbitant amount for art before. The NYT spends some time wondering about the nature of art and whether or not this is Kanye West’s piece or the fabricator’s. Considering Kim says she shaved her own butt into the right shape by hand, it doesn’t seem right to attribute it just to the person who picked up the tools, and having Kanye’s name attached makes it worth more. They end by saying, “Maybe the greatest quality an artist can possess today isn’t skill or talent — it’s commitment to making a vision real. That means money and time,” which perhaps is a roundabout justification for the price tag. You don’t need one! People will pay anything to get closer to fame.

My question is about storage.

Contributing Writer, writing my first book for the Dial Press called The Lonely Hunter, follow me on Twitter @alutkin

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I guess you can make realistic wax figures of famous people naked and sell them, but it seems fucked up. You relinquish a lot of privacy when you become famous but it doesn’t seem like you should relinquish the right to control distribution of your naked body.