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Who Bought David Opdyke's Oil Empire and Why?


The Artist: David Opdyke
It’s all basically handmade. If I’d been more rational, I would have done it a different way. The building process was a bit excessive but also meditative. The piece appears self-contained, as if it’s sucking things out of a pool of oil. It’s a fantasy of self-sufficiency, which is kind of how we do things in America.

The Collector: David Mugrabi
Since I bought it, it’s been at the Corcoran and the Aldrich, so I haven’t had a chance to think about where it will go. It’s fitting for what’s going on right now, with oil prices and what an oil-consuming nation we’ve become. It’s not like a Monet flower painting: It has to sink in, then it has a beauty.

The Work: Oil Empire, by David Opdyke.
Sold for $20,000 at the Roebling Hall gallery (606 West 26th Street, near Eleventh Avenue, and 390 Wythe Avenue, near South 4th Street, Williamsburg, Brooklyn). On view at the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in Ridgefield, Connecticut, through January 5.


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