"There are no rules about investment. Sharks can be good. Artist’s dung can be good. Oil on canvas can be good. There’s a squad of conservators out there to look after anything an artist decides is art." - Charles Saatchi































Chris Ofili, The Holy Virgin Mary, 1996.





















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











Crhis Ofili, Shit Head, 1993.










Pollock in front of blank canvas
As we entered into the 21st Century, we naturally "took stock" of our moment and many declared the end of the avant-garde. It had long been taken for granted that everything that can be done, has been done.
Existential angst, a sense of alienation that led to cultural upheaval, and a drive towards innovation and futurism characterized the American avant-garde after WWII.
In the postmodern era, these sentiments lost their lustre.
Pollock standing in front of
blank canvas for Mural











Hilton Kramer has explained that for some, postmodernism became "the revenge of the philistines" in that artists seemingly embraced kitsch, and low brow culture over the clean, cool, reasoned aesthetic of modernism with excessive eagerness.

Mike Kelley, Memory Ware Flat, 2000.











Before the "Great Recession" we found repeated confirmation that there was nothing left to rebel against.
Takashi Murakami, Tan Tan Bo, 2001.











Takashi Murakami, My Lonesome Cowboy, 1998.
Viewers looking at and Hiropan Milk, 1998.











Anarchy in the U.K. fanzine, UK, 1976.











Numerous critics declared that Pomo's institutional critique was too well received, and as a consequence, they dismissed Postmodernism as fad.

Takashi Murakami Louis Vuitton bag included in the traveling retrospective of the artist's work © MURAKAMI






















In 1996 Hal Foster asked in the Return of the Real "Whatever happened to Postmodernism?"
Banksy, If Graffitti Changed Anything..., London, 2011.











Many have since declared the end of Postmodernism and have tentatively called the newest artistic era, "post-postmodernism" and/ or "meta modernism."
metamodernism = works and artistic practices that oscilate between modern and postmodern perspectives
"In the wake of the myriad crises of the past two decades — of climate change, financial meltdown, and the escalation of global conflicts — we have witnessed the emergence of a palpable collective desire for change, for something beyond the prematurely proclaimed 'End of History.'” - Luke Turner in Metamodernism: A Brief Introduction
Marilyn Minter, Stuffed, 2003.











"We know that postmodernism, in simple terms, has been a detachment from modernism. We detached from the Constructivist’s utopias; we detached from the Expressionist’s catharsis; we detached from the Ruskin utopia of artistic moral influence. We detached from the Dada purges. We detached from the Greenbergian truth. We detached from the almighty metanarrative. Postmodernity detached us from believing that our intelligence will keep us from a return to primordial ooze. It detached us from believing that human invention of the end of the world does not have to end the world." - Stephen Knudsen in Art Pulse
Andreas Gursky, Pyongyang IV, 2007.











"The use of the prefix 'meta' here derives from Plato’s metaxis, describing an oscillation and simultaneity between and beyond diametrically opposed poles. This usage was first proposed by Dutch cultural theorists Timotheus Vermeulen and Robin van den Akker in their 2010 essay, Notes on Metamodernism." - Luke Turner
Julie Shafer, Conquest of the Vertical: 300 Miles From Eureka! 2012. Silver Gelatin pinhole photograph, 69" X 40".











Gericault, Raft of the Medusa, 1818 - 1819.
Eric Fischl, The Old Man's Boat and the Old Man's Dog, 1981.
Julie Shafer, 5 mile drive from the Fireside Lounge to 41.296111, -105.515000; Looking out the rear driver-side window, 2012. Inkjet photograph, 33 x 24 inches.











"As young protesters, [Bartlett's figures] find utopian ideals suspect; however, in their repose they are ironically taking action against threat. They are confronting the inventors of the end of the world: us. Specifically, they are facing down the strongest military in the world - a military mandated to prevent apocalypse, but also one with apocalyptic potential that could explode if not regulated by the people. School of the Americas becomes a reflection of ourselves; we still want to believe in something good, even in a world with utopian enthusiasm put into checkmate." Stephen Knudsen in Art Pulse
School Of the Americas / Wester Hemisphere Institute for Security Operations
Latin America and the SOA
Bo Bartlett, School of the Americas, 2010.











"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






















"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 traiding and price fixing, illegal in other areas of investment, [remain] standard practices in the art world." - Art Since 1900
Sold in 2006 by David Geffen to
Steve Cohen for $137.5 million
Willem De Kooning, Woman III, 1953.










Sold in 1990 at NY auction for $82.5 million
$75 million, plus a 10 percent buyer's commission
$135.0 million adjusted to 2009’s inflation
Vincent Van Gogh, Portrait of Dr. Gachet, 1890.











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.











"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.











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.











Takashi Murakami, 727, 1996.
Jeff Koons, Rabbit, 1986. Polished stainless steel.











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.