Ever since Maurizio Cattelan artwork, the banana that was stuck to a wall with duct tape, was sold for 120K I’ve been fascinated by the art world and the way the art economy works. This mostly meant that I’ve been trying to find information that is somewhat accessible outside of the art world. The $12 Million Stuffed Shark, is probably one of the better resources on the subjects that I found (there is also a pretty good documentary on Netflix called “Blurred Line”).
For the record, I actually really love this piece as a sort satire of the art world, but more importantly, I loved the performance art that came after the news broke (when artist David Datuna ate the banana). The thing was pure Dada and I loved it. I should also say, that I am in fact an artist but my focus is more design-oriented which has very different business practices, and so my knowledge of specific art-related business practice is fairly limited.
The books give the reader a throughout examination of the economy of art – what sells? Why do they sell? Who are the important figure and institutions involved? And why are there no regulations on buying and selling art? How prices are determined? And more…
It is not a perfect book, but it was an enjoyable, informative read that is well worth your time.
- The book was published in 2009 so some parts of it might not be as relevant
- It is a very dry read at times, and I did struggle to finish some chapters
- The book focuses mostly on dealers, auctions and art shows and far less about museums. I understand that museums are not the big money makers in art, but I would love to read a more complex examination of the economy of art museums.
- The book only focuses on contemporary art, so if you are looking at info about the economy of classical works of art this is not the book for you.