When Business and Art Collide

It’s another blow to the world of abstract art.

Last week, in tribute to Morley Safer, I wrote about one of his more famous stories, “Yes… But Is It Art?” in which he exposes abstract art for what it really is, nonsense.

And now we have the story of 17-year-old TJ Khayatan who placed his glasses on the floor of the newly remodeled San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA).

It wasn’t long before the spectacles garnered some foot traffic, as passersby mistook the ordinary lenses for a piece of modern art. Khayatan tweeted the news of his accidental masterpiece and before long, the story went viral.

If such an event doesn’t prove that a lot of art is nonsense, then I don’t know what would convince you.

But it got me thinking. Maybe I’ve got a future in abstract art, specializing in business-based art.

Below are some ideas off the top of my head.



Anyone who has taken an accounting course knows how beautiful it is when your balance sheet balances, truly  a work of art.



Imagine walking past this at a museum and impressing your date by explaining that this drawing represents the four Ps known as the marketing mix. You may not know a van Gogh from a Rembrandt, but you know your buzzwords.



Notice the starkness of the white letters against the solid blue background, providing just the right amount of gravitas to such an acronym. Once again, a chance to impress your date if you can explain what it means.



A piece that will appeal to the international art lover. Notice the subtle shadows, perhaps suggesting the presence of shadow economies all over the world.

I could go on and on, but I think you get the point.

The world of business is a beautiful thing, so why not celebrate that beauty by creating an art exhibit devoted to business concepts.

It can’t be worse than a vacuum cleaner or a urinal claiming to be art.

*money signs courtesy of Cliparts


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Jim Borden

Accounting Prof. at Villanova; happily married for 30+ years; father of 3 outstanding young men; vegan; interests: fitness, creativity, education, blogging, social media.

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