Arnd Wiegmann/Reuters/Landov
Karen Nickel Anhalt
June 11, 2009 11:35 AM

It wasn’t his first choice, but Brad Pitt still decided to spend a reported $960,000 on a painting by German artist Neo Rauch during a visit to Art Basel, the annual contemporary art fair in Switzerland.

According to a representative of the artist’s Berlin gallery, Pitt had his eye on another painting by Rauch, but that one was already reserved for museum. Rauch, 46, has works that hang, among other places, in New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Pitt’s purchase, a rainbow-colored racetrack painting titled Etappe (which refers to a leg of a race), was described by New York’s David Zwirner Gallery as an “enigmatic and dreamlike” representation of a racecar being tuned up in the middle of a competition, according to the Wall Street Journal.

This year’s 40th Art Basel festival, featuring the work of more than 2,500 artists, opened to the public Wednesday. Pitt, 45, also attended last year’s Art Basel, shortly before Angelina Jolie gave birth to their twins, Vivienne and Knox.
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