If you’re an art lover, owning an original Pablo Picasso must rank right up there with owning a Bugatti Veyron if you’re a gearhead or obtaining a piece of toast Niall Horan didn’t finish if you’re a One Direction fan.
So imagine being an art lover of the most supreme order and hearing that one of your fellow art buyers plans to turn an original Picasso into a 150,000-piece jigsaw puzzle. You’d probably lose consciousness.
That’s just one possible outcome for Picasso’s “Tete de Faune” (translation: Head of a Faun). Cards Against Humanity, the game company based out of Chicago, purchased an original of the 1962 Picasso linocut for an undisclosed amount and will let supporters of its most recent holiday promotion decide whether the artwork goes to a museum or faces the business end of a laser-cutting machine.
Contacted by CNET, Max Temkin, co-creator of Cards Against Humanity, declined to comment on the Picasso print.
Cards Against Humanity, if you’ve never played the party game, has participants answer questions written on black cards with the funniest and often most offensive answers they can think of from a stash of white cards.
Subscribers to the company’s recent Eight Sensible Gifts for Hanukkah promotion recently received an envelope in their mailboxes. The envelope contained a handwritten letter from “David M.’s dad” on the importance of culture, a second “Jew Pack” of special Cards Against Humanity cards, and a smooth card bearing Picasso’s artwork. The back of the card says in bold letters, “Today, you are all going to be part of a social experiment.” Insert the “Saw” theme music here.
The card goes on to say that the company used the money it raised from the 150,000 subscribers to the Hanukkah promotion to purchase Picasso’s “Tete de Faune” for the express purpose of either donating it to the Art Institute of Chicago or cutting it up into 150,000 squares and sending a piece (clearly a teeny tiny one) to each subscriber.
Those participating in the holiday promotion will be able to vote on the fate of the artwork by going to a website sometime between Saturday, December 28 and Thursday, December 31, and casting their votes using a code printed on the card. If enough fans vote “thumbs down,” the linocut goes against a laser cutter.
This easily surpasses the cool big gift subscribers received from last year’s holiday promotion. CAH purchased an island located on St. George Lake in Liberty, Maine, that it dubbed “Hawaii 2,” and it sent ownership paperwork for one square foot of land to each subscriber.
I have to admit I’m really torn about this one. As a culture appreciator, I don’t want to see a work of art by one of the world’s greatest artists sliced up like a deep-dish pizza. However, as someone who paid for eight Hanukkah gifts from Cards Against Humanity, I also want to receive all eight gifts. And don’t give me that crud about how knowing that you saved a priceless work of art is its own reward. You can’t bring “peace of mind” to Best Buy for a refund, even if you still have the receipt.