Justin Caffier, a writer for Vice.com, wrote that he bought the painting at a Los Angeles art gallery. He bought the piece in part because it was less expensive than the other artwork in the gallery.
Caffier also explained that he remembered meeting the artist, Ruby Heart, about a year before and had a “pleasant” conversation with him.
The men talked again after Caffier saw Heart at the show and told him he’d just purchased his work, titled “ARTISHARDT.”
“I’m glad it’s going to a good home,” Heart told Caffier about the painting, before telling him it was a “three-dimensional piece for a reason.”
Heart also asked the writer if he’d paid attention to the list of details beneath the painting, hinting that there could be something of interest — and value — to the work that was more than met the eye.
Caffier was convinced that something was inside the painting, so he disassembled it, and in the middle of a blanket of glitter, were precious stones, minerals, shards of glass and a stack of cash — around $10,000
Fascinated with the piece and its meaning, Caffier interviewed the artist about the work. Caffier wanted to satisfy his sense of curiosity as well as know what else the artist could have stashed in the painting.
The answer to that question is, apparently, a lot.
“There’s a bunch of cash, obviously,” Heart said, adding that one of his grandfather’s rings are in the piece as well as diamonds and emeralds.
The artist added that he also put things that were truly meaningful to him in the artwork, which included crystals, minerals like lithium, quartz, amethyst, a small piece of moldavite from an asteroid and all kinds of weird herbs, spices, beer and bourbon.”
“I think I cut my finger while finishing it so there’s some blood in there, too,” he said.
Heart said that he was inspired to create the piece because he loved “creating a ruckus and situations that have huge effects on people.”
His efforts definitely paid off.
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