DATE: November 2010
PRICE: £ 110,000
PREFERRED BUYER: Mensa International, Caythorpe, Lincolnshire, UK
CONDITIONS OF SALE: This painting has to be exhibited at the Mensa Headquarters for about 200 days every year.
TECHNIQUE: Oil on canvas, unframed.
DIMENSIONS: 53 x 41 cm
STORY: Human intelligence is one of the most valued heritable traits, in all cultures and through all ages. This is not surprising, given its importance for the survival of the group. During human evolution, mate choice by both sexes focused increasingly on intelligence as a major component of biological fitness, both for its heritable genetic benefits and its relevance to parenting ability. Many human-specific behaviors may have evolved principally to advertise intelligence during courtship, such as conversation, music production, humor, and artistic ability. Although AbFab claims to be many things, one should not underestimate the possibility that it is also the most primal display of intelligence, subconsciously designed to increase reproductive chances of its creator. That is why only primary colours were used (note its similarity with Treesome), and biological symbols for male and female designed in such a way as to spell IQ. The price represents an approximate number of members in the Mensa, which is the largest and oldest IQ society in the world. Although it is very easy to agree with Stephen Jay Gould that IQ tests only measure a number of unrelated abilities, organizations such as Mensa may one day realize the dream of Friedrich Nietzsche in creating a superman though their match-making activities (this part is referring to the third major Mensa's purpose, listed in its constitution: "to provide a stimulating intellectual and social environment for its members").