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The Federal Reserve Bank in Flames, Los Angeles Branch

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Alex Schaefer was born in Los Angeles, California in 1969 and is an active fixture in contemporary art. He can be found quite often with his art supplies, easel and a canvas on the sidewalks of the bustling city painting streetscapes en plein-air capturing the light and the movement with his outgoing style, keen eye, and skill as a colorist. In 2011 Schaefer gained international recognition for his art with an ongoing series of banks on fire in protest of financial crimes. His oeuvre is wide ranging from traditional plein-air landscapes, cityscapes and street scenes to figurative nudes, portraits and abstract and imagination paintings. His main influences are the painterly “old masters”, the early French Impressionists and the San Francisco Bay area figurative and abstract artists of the 1950’s and the London School.


This artwork is part of an ongoing series of paintings of Too Big To Fail banks on fire that started in 2011 and continues to this day. The painting is the only one I’ve ever finished depicting a Federal Reserve bank in flames. Within 3 hours of setting up at the corner of Grand and Olympic the sheriff was taking photos. I began the painting in 2012 at a “Day of Rage” focussed on the ongoing bailouts at the time. I always liked the painting and kept it because I knew it was a worthy subject matter but I was never happy with the composition. In 2022, ten years later, I knew how to resolve the piece and ruthlessly reworked it. I love it now and in my opinion it’s one of the best I’ve done. To this day the paintings of this series remain relevant with people around the world for two reasons: 1) Nothing has changed for the better in any way rather everything keeps getting worse and 2) they are exceptional paintings and will stand out as works of art over time. The root of so many problems in the world today is the money itself, how it’s made, who gets it first and where it’s spent. The U.S. Dollar is the Apex Problem, it is systemic violence and inequality on a local and global scale. The grind of the USD system that the World is trapped in triggers a cascade of problems: depression, addiction, crime, homelessness, racism/xenophobia ad nauseum. Bitcoin is the exit from the collapsing system and the bridge to a never before seen era where the money power is placed in the hands of the People.

This Lot Includes:

Physical Artwork:

  • Dimensions: 30" x 24"
  • Materials: Oil on canvas
  • Weight: 5 lbs with frame

Painting will include a wet ink on paper signed Certificate of Authenticity.

Starting Reserve Price: 50,000,000 sats (0.5 BTC)

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After Auction Sales

Buyer NameAmount (in sats)Time & Date
HS150,000,000 (0.5 BTC)June 18, 2022 12:05:00 AM UTC

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