Doing his share for the pursuit of art
WHEN artist Frank O'Dea announced he was interested in "buying" Anglo Irish Bank shares, he wasn't expecting so many people to turn up at his art gallery offering their worthless pieces of paper.
At their peak more than three years ago, the shares were worth at least €17, but that was before the banking collapse and bailout.
The artist, who comes from Clontarf, Dublin, was surprised at the response to his unusual request after he asked the public if they had a few Anglo Irish shares "lying around" that he could incorporate into his latest piece of art.
"I didn't want to transfer the share ownership into my name; I just wanted the physical paper to use as a prop for my latest work," he said yesterday.
An elderly couple clutching their now worthless shares were the first to arrive when his gallery in the Westbury Mall, Dublin, opened last Tuesday morning.
"Another guy had 40,000 shares. I didn't expect so many people to turn up, I thought maybe one or two might be interested."
He received more than enough shares to illustrate his latest work. For their trouble, he will give those who offered their shares a limited-edition print when the painting is completed, along with €100.
Frank said that, in his latest work, he wanted to perhaps show a forlorn investor slumped at the bar with his worthless pieces of paper spread before him.
"I got the inspiration from reading the papers about the vast amounts of money going into this banking black hole," he said. He hopes to complete his work within two weeks and intends raffling his 'shares' painting for charity.