Glass Onion and Collecting Art in Modern Society
Glass Onion, the new movie of the Knives Out series, presents a murder mystery story through the character of tech billionaire Miles Bron, played by Edward Norton, who draws our attention with his similarity to Elon Musk. We can think of Bron, who gathered all his friends on his private island for the weekend, as a cartoon representing a certain part of people who in modern times possess great wealth. This businessman does not avoid showing off and on the contrary, takes great pleasure in displaying his wealth. He reveals his wealth through many masterpieces in his 450 million dollar villa Glass Onion. Borrowed from the French state “needing money” in the midst of an epidemic in which all museums are closed, the Mona Lisa is the centerpiece of his collection, which includes works by artists such as Matisse, Rothko, da Vinci, Basquiat, Mondrian and Banksy, or even of the film. We can say that it symbolizes the concept of heritage for Miles Bron. It is Miles Bron’s ultimate goal to be commemorated in the same breath as the most recognized work of art in the world. Thus, he thinks that he will be able to write his name in history as one of the most memorable and majestic people ever with the help of the painting.
You can imagine that the accessories department had a serious workload during production. Director Rian Johnson worked with art director Rick Heinrich in order to have the right decor to reflect the view of today’s entrepreneurs towards art collecting. Rich embarked on a deep research process about art history specifically for this film. Care was taken to select works that would reflect the personality of Miles Bron’s character, such as the artist Kanye West, who has recently come to the fore with his ego, sitting on a lion, and a Rothko painting hanging upside down. The collection, which is large enough to make almost all museums in the world envy, most certainly aims to be a criticism of today’s art collectors. Glass Onion puts the absurdly wealthy members of modern society under the spotlight, where the artworks are stripped of their artists and used as a status, and presents a strong criticism through a farcy approach.