Artists sell paintings of medical bills to pay medical bills

Art-prank collective MSCHF made giant paintings of three individuals' huge medical bills and then sold the paintings to pay those bills. New York City gallery Otis bought the 6' tall artworks and are reselling "shares" in them through its fractionalized ownership platform. MSCHF expects the price of the shares "to increase in the secondary market." You can see the paintings online here. From CNN:

"We think that the American health care system has reached such a point of runaway absurdity that an off-the-wall solution is the only fitting tactic to address it," said the group's head of strategy and growth, Daniel Greenberg, via email, adding that the project is "a conceptual artwork, not a reliable strategy for debt alleviation."

The project, dubbed "Medical Bill Art," began with MSCHF placing an ad in its eponymous magazine earlier this year. About 100 people responded to the ad with information about their circumstances, according to Greenberg.

After checking that respondents had verifiable documents, as well as ensuring that medical treatment "resulted from either injury or accident and not violence or negligence," Greenberg said, the collective then chose three individuals at random. The large oil-on-canvas replicas of their medical bills were then sold to a New York gallery for a combined total of $73,360.36.

Several months ago, MSCHF purchased a Damien Hirst "Spot" print for $30,000, cut it up, and sold the 88 spots for $480/each.