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Artist wants to take over oil giant.

Koselleck uses oil washed up on beaches from oil spills to create unique art

Dubai German conceptual artist Ruppe Koselleck has an ambitious goal: he is planning nothing less than the hostile takeover of British Petroleum, or BP, in a solo run. The artist says on his internet home page that he wants to buy as many shares as necessary to gain the majority of the company. How does it work?

Koselleck collects oil clumps from beaches and uses them to create art. His work began in 2002 when oil from a BP tanker leaked into the North Sea and he came upon several pieces of a tar-like substance, which turned out to be washed up oil residue. Most recently he picked up his raw material from the Gulf coast.

He is painting oil pictures with his findings to sell them to collectors and sympathisers and paints over US dollar banknotes, putting them for sale on eBay as "petrodollars". He also paints oil ornaments on BP leaflets, folders and postcards and puts them on sale, calling it a "highly aesthetical contamination". With half of the earnings out of this procedure Koselleck says he is covering his expenses, but the other half he uses to buy BP shares at the London Stock Exchange. The goal is not only to take over the oil giant, but also to crush it, he says.

The price of his artifacts depends on the current share price of BP, he says. Currently, he already owns roughly 1,050 BP shares. "Around 9.7 billion shares are still missing," he calculates.

Since the day the oil spill broke out in the Gulf of Mexico, his work has become more and more political, he says. "But I am an artist. I want to take over a big enterprise by using art."


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Publication:Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)
Date:Aug 4, 2010
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