July 18th, 2004
Anybody care to give an opinion on the current auction prices on modern, and contemporary art?
The last Picasso, the immature Rose Period piece "Garcon a la Pipe" was auctioned off for $104,000,000 at Sotheby's New York. It beat the previous record holder, "Portrait of Dr.Gachet" by Van Gogh which was auctioned off to a Japanese tycoon for $82,500,000, and then later sold for a presumed sum of $100,000,000 in a private sale.
For example a noted art critic, the name escapes me, stated that no painting is worth that much. In refrence to the Picasso.
Also keep in mind the silkscreens of Andy Warhol which continue to sell in the millions, and afterwards escalate in value. In essence those Marilyn's, and Campbell's were mass produced items initially selling for $500.
The prices paid for these modern, contemporary works far exceed Old Masters such as a Vermeer auctioned off for $42,000,000.
I have to agree with that anonymous critic, especially when it comes to the Van Gogh, which I really don't care for. Regarding the Warhols. I like some of his work, but it's not worth that much. Anything reprinted in mass and sold at poster shops across the country becomes rather trite, especially when you drop 50 million for it. These people driving up the prices don't care for the quality of work as much as the sheer status of their purchase.
I wish there was something new, something exciting, but i haven't seen anything but post-modern crap
on a topic like this id recommend reading this short book, or well rather long essay by john berger titled "ways of seeing".
in pieces such as the ones pictured above its often the mysticism and constructed idealistic "beauty" that superceeds the work itself, which ultimately creates the incredible market values observed.
its rather essential to see if its the work itself, or an institutions (ie museum, critic, professor, etc) that creates the value for the work.
ps - would any of you agree that the post-modern era is in fact over as well? its something ive been reading on, and id really have to agree at this point.
|Date:||October 16th, 2004 05:00 am (UTC)|| |
i mean these people aren't buying this art bc they love it...it's an investment pure and simple.
Monetary value is entirely subjective. Paintings are only "worth" as much as people value them. If the buyer of "Portrait of Dr.Gachet" values it more than he values $100,000,000, then who is anyone else to judge that transaction? Before, he had no "Portrait of Dr.Gachet"'s, now he has one. It may not be worth $100,000,000 to our anonymous art critic - but it certainly must have been to the person that purchased it. If he's just buying it speculating that it will be worth more in the future, then there may be a price bubble for art that will burst in the future (assuming most buyers of high-priced art are doing so for the same reason). Then the values of all their Picassos and Van Goghs and Vermeers will plummit - but that is the risk they took when investing. Just like a stock market bubble, or the current housing bubble in the US.
Of course, it could also be actually what those works of art are worth to people. Who is to say?
Andy Warhol's mass-produced works don't have value because of how much effort they took, or how much of "high art" they are in the estimation of critics - they have their respective monetary values because people give them those values. It could be speculation, but it could merely be peoples' respect for Warhol as a controversial figure, and their attachment to being associated with that image. It could be any number of things. In the end, the market will figure itself out.