People Keep Trying To Touch The Goldman Sachs Painting And The Guard Has To Yell At Them

cool art in goldman building

There’s a security guard sitting in the front of the new Goldman Sachs building that is constantly telling people not to touch the painting.

He’ll only let one person, the artist, Julie Mehretu, get close enough to touch it.

The artist visited the GS office with the author of her profile in the latest issue of The New Yorker.

The painting is a huge mural (right) that Goldman paid $5 million for. They paid $10 million for the even larger Franz Ackermann mural in another entrance of the building.

The employees apparently don’t like either one of them.

The way Mehretu’s looks is a matter of taste, but what’s underneath those colourful shapes is undeniably cool: four layers of markings that refer to the history of capitalism. For example, in the first layer:

— maps, trade routes, population shifts, financial institutions, the growth of cities

In the second and third layers:

— architectural drawings of financial institutions like, the New Orleans cotton exchange, the New York Stock Exchange, an early Massachusets bank, and a market gate from the ancient Greek city of Miletus

The layers do sound like they look tempting, and Goldman’s security guard confirms it. He says people try to touch them once or twice per day.

Mehretu finally decided on a name, by the way – it’s “Mural.” (For a long time it was “Untitled,” which she chose after trying to name it a first time.)

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