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November 19, 2012

Felix Salmon is Too Pious about Art-World Money

By Spear's

‘The shiny art selling for tens of millions of dollars is so dumb, and the caricatures who would emulate its success are so debased…’

The backlash against artonomics continues, with Felix Salmon of Reuters weighing in. I suggest all whiners (it’s practically its own movement by now) move to North Korea and open an art co-operative. Imagine how long that would last before they either all killed themselves or started auctioning to Kim Jong-il.

“The shiny art selling for tens of millions of dollars is so dumb, and the caricatures who would emulate its success are so debased, that a lot of really talented artists and critics and curators and even collectors don’t even want in any more.”

Read more: Christie’s sale hits $412 million

Ha! Last I saw tons still want in. Maybe that’s the problem, why it’s escalating so much: too many want to play, and these days it’s the only game in town so why not?

AND WHAT STUPIDITY AND IGNORANCE (TO SPEAK ABOUT SHINY ART SELLING FOR MILLIONS) IS IT WHEN A F*CKED UP SILKSCREEN ON PAPER AND SIMPLE BLACK AND WHITE PAINT ON CANVAS WERE AMONG THE TROPHIES (ie the biggest earners in the multimillions madness)?

Says Salmon: ”The art market has stopped being a source of fascination and crazy numbers, and has started to be a source of sheer disgust.” For who? Markets are by nature unfair and inefficient but there is yet a viable alternative. And who cares if some art sells obscenely?

Capitalism is well and good, he says, but “let’s do it on a human scale.” It is humans in the driver’s seat, with extended paddles. Look, I understand that mass monetising is sad when it results in art not looked at (stored in freeports), wine not drunk, houses not lived in and cars not driven, but there is plenty still to see, and oftentimes for free.

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