An art exhibit calling attention to the rising cost of college education installed at Grand Central Station in New York is being touted as “the most expensive piece of art in the world.”
Valued at $470 million and created using 2,600 authentic diplomas provided by college graduates, the installation titled “Da Vinci of Debt” is being featured at the Vanderbilt Hall in Grand Central Station from Thursday through Saturday.
The installation has been put up by the American brewing company Anheuser-Busch to celebrate its Natural Light College Debt Relief program, which provides $1 million to help people saddled with student loan debt.
‘Chaotic Impact’ of College Debt
The company added up the cost of the diplomas — $180,000 on average — to value the artwork at the exorbitant price.
“Only in the art world can a single banana sell for $120,000 and an artist’s used bedsheets go for $150,000. While other artworks like these are valued arbitrarily, the value of ‘Da Vinci of Debt’ is derived from the average total cost of a four-year college education,” Anheuser-Busch said.
Introducing the Da Vinci of Debt – the world’s most expensive piece of art, EVER. With more than 2600 real college diplomas, it’s valued at over $470 million. Because a college education is f***ing expensive.
— Natural Light (@naturallight) January 13, 2021
The artwork is designed to illustrate both the “scale of the crippling debt crisis while also alluding to the chaotic impact college debt creates for those who are burdened by it.”
Vice president of the company, Daniel Blake, justified the astronomical price tag of the exhibit saying it is a fitting analogy to the super-expensive cost of post-secondary education, though both are ultimately useless and impossible to justify.
With a quarter of American households being crushed by student loan debt, the artwork is a scathing indictment of the skyrocketing student debt crisis that has snowballed into one of the biggest problems facing the country today.
The installation is open for visitors and is entertaining bidders who wish to purchase this provocative and timely work of art.