The Art Market
Marilyn Minter, Bottled Blonde, 2006. Enamel on aluminum.











Chris Ofili, The Holy Virgin Mary, 1996.



















Chris Ofili, Monkey Magic - Sex, Money, Drugs, 1999.











Crhis Ofili, Shit Head, 1993.











Ivanka Trump with Nate Lowman, Black Escalade, 2005 and Dan Colen, Untitled, 2008.











"When one reflects on art collectors Robert and Ethel Scull, what often springs to mind is Robert Rauschenberg giving Robert Scull an angry shove after the 1973 auction of 50 of the couple’s works at Sotheby Parke Bernet, when the artist’s Thaw (1958), purchased by the Sculls in the late ’50s for $900, sold for $85,000. Rauschenberg famously said, 'I’ve been working my ass off for you to make that profit.'” - Roni Feinstein in Art in America

Andy Warhol, Ethel Scull 36 Times, 1963.











Mona Lisa Takes New York
"The art market as we have come to know it as a far more recent creation, the effect of an international bourgeoisie that, reconstructed after World War II, emerged in the boom years of the sixties with money to burn on art, particularly American Pop, that brand which, as the art historian Thomas Crow has put it, 'looked like products being sold like products.'" - Art Since 1900











"In 1993, the New York Times writer N. R. Kleinfield tested the desperation of Soho dealers. Haggling like a man buying a used car, Kleinfield consistently extracted 20 percent reductions, the discount level reserved today for major collectors and museums. At Leo Castelli, he was offered what had been only a year earlier a $400,000 Lichtenstein sculpture for $270,000." - Artnet
Sandro Chia, The Idleness of Sisyphus, 1981.











"If the standard-bearer of the eighties boom was an advertising executive like Saatchi, then his counterpart in the last upswing was a hedge-fund manager like Steve Cohen, who has used his enormous profits as founder of SAC Capital to build an extensive collection of postwar art in a short time. According to Amy Cappellazzo, deputy chairman of Christie's auction house, the new type of collector [understands contemporary art] 'as an assest one can borrow against, or trade on and defer capital gains taxes on' and regarded the art market essentially as a branch of the securities markets. An added attraction [is] that insider trading and price fixing, illegal in other areas of investment, [remain] standard practices in the art world." - Art Since 1900
sold in 2014 by the heirs of Rudolf Staechelin to
the State of Qatar for $210 million
Paul Gaugin, When Will You Marry?, 1892.











Sold in 1990 at NY auction for $82.5 million
$75 million, plus a 10 percent buyer's commission
$154.5 million adjusted for inflation
Vincent Van Gogh, Portrait of Dr. Gachet, 1890.











Purchased in 1941 by Victor and Sally Ganz for $7,000
Sold in 1997 by the Ganzes at auction for $49 million

In 2006, Steve Wynn tore a silver dollar sized hole into the canvas with his elbow, after finalizing $139 million sale of the work the day before. He released the buyer, Steve Cohen, from the sale and restored the painting at a cost of $90 million. He then sold the restored painting in 2013 to Cohen for $155 million.

Pablo Picasso, Le Rêve, 1932.











In a private sale in 2006, Maria Altmann sold the work to Ronald Lauder for $135 million
New York Times art critic, Michael Kimmelman described the heirs as "cashing in" and thus transforming a "story about justice and redemption after the Holocaust [into] yet another tale of the crazy, intoxicating art market." "Wouldn't it have been remarkable (I'm just dreaming here) if the heirs had decided instead to donate one or more of the paintings to a public institution?"
Gustav Klimt, Adele Bloch Bauer, 1907.











The Great Recession began in December 2007 and ended in June 2009, which makes it the longest recession since World War II. Beyond its duration, the Great Recession was notably severe in several respects. Real gross domestic product (GDP) fell 4.3 percent from its peak in 2007 Q4 to its trough in 2009Q2, the largest decline in the postwar era (based on data as of October 2013). The unemployment rate, which was 5 percent in December 2007, rose to 9.5 percent in June 2009, and peaked at 10 percent in October 2009.

The financial effects of the Great Recession were similarly outsized: Home prices fell approximately 30 percent, on average, from their mid-2006 peak to mid-2009, while the S&P 500 index fell 57 percent from its October 2007 peak to its trough in March 2009. The net worth of US households and nonprofit organizations fell from a peak of approximately $69 trillion in 2007 to a trough of $55 trillion in 2009. - Federal Reserve History

Jeff Koons, Rabbit, 1986.











During the First Gulf War, the lack of liquidity of major financial markets combined with the bankruptcy of financial institutions and the economic climate of recession caused art prices to shrink by 55% between 1990 to 1993. - Artprice
2010 sold at auction for $290,500
Julian Schnabel, Portrait of Dennis Hopper, 2008.











platinum cast of a human skull encrusted with 8,601 flawless diamonds, including a pear-shaped pink diamond located in the forehead of the skull
Cost the artist £14 million to produce
Hirst claims he sold the skull for the asking price of
£50 million ($100 million)
"Everyone in the art world knows Hirst hasn't sold the skull. It's clearly just an elaborate ruse to drum up publicity and rewrite the book value of all his other work." - Hirst critic
Damien Hirst, For the Love of God, 2007.











"The last decade has witnessed a transformation in image technologies as dramatic as those changes registered by the photography debates in the late twenties and early thirties and by various Pop manifestations in the late fifties and early sixties." - Art Since 1900
Thomas Struth, Shibuya Crossing, Tokyo, 1991.











Andreas Gursky, 99 Cent, 1999.











Tony Oursler, Guilty, 1995.

 Tony Oursler, Bound Interrupter,  2012.






















Symptomatically, the extraordinary prices paid at auction for photographs at the turn of the century demonstrated that the cultural value of the photograph was also increasing. For example, Andreas Gursky's 99 Cent II Diptychon sold for $3,346,456 at auction in 2007, making it the most expensive photograph at the time.

Andreas Gursky, 99 Cent II Diptychon, 2001.











Cindy Sherman, Untitled Film Still #13, 1978.
Cindy Sherman, Untitled Film Still #96, 1981.
In 2008, a print of #13 sold at auction for $902,500
In 2011, a print of #96 sold at auction for $3,890,500
making it the most expensive photograph











Then, Andreas Gursky's Rhein II sold at auction in November 2011 for $4,338,500


Andreas Gursky, Rhein II, 1999.











That price was (supposedly) trumped in 2014 by the sale of Peter Lik's Phantom for $6.5 million.
The NY Times exposed a dubious art inflation scheme that called this price into question.


Peter Lik, Phantom, c. 2014.










Our image technologies have proven so successful in their strategies, that they lead us to question reality itself
and make the possible look artificial.









When viewing the images and footage of the attacks on the World Trade Centers, many said, "it looked like a movie."
The images were more real than real, hyper real, and we often prefer it that way.













Metamodern moment


Joe Rosenthal, Raising Old Glory at Iwo Jima, February 23, 1945.
Thomas E. Franklin, Flag Raising at Ground Zero, September 11, 2001.











Attack on the World Trade Center, September 11, 2001.











Joel Meyerowitz, World Trade Center, 2001.
Joel Meyerowitz, World Trade Center Welders, 2001.











“People are much more willing to believe that pictures lie than that they can express any kind of truth.” – Laurie Simmons
Gerhard Richter, September, 2005.