The Contemporary Art Bubble

Nice article from Prospect Magazine (from December) on the massive bubble in contemporary art.

A choice morsel:

Economist and historian of financial crashes, Edward Chancellor, observed recently: “Most contemporary art is inherently worthless. It is not like Titian and other old masters of which there are few and whose value will not fall away. It’s like subprime CDOs.”

And another:

But the suspicion is that dealers and collectors with interests in particular artists may have been “bidding up” prices at auction and acquiring works. If so, they may be holding large inventories of overvalued work, financed by increasingly expensive debt. At the Damien Hirst auction at Sotheby’s, his London dealer, Jay Jopling, bid on an astonishing 44 per cent of the lots in the evening sale, and both he and Hirst’s US dealer, Larry Gagosian, bid on two lots after long pauses in the bidding.

I’ve said it before but its always worth saying again: Koons, Hirst, etc., etc., are hustlers. I feel no pity for those who will never recoup their “investment” in this worthless tripe.

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