Comments on: Adventures in art-market commodification, James Stewart edition http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2013/12/09/adventures-in-art-market-commodification-james-stewart-edition/ A slice of lime in the soda Sun, 26 Oct 2014 19:05:02 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.5 By: FelixSalmon http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2013/12/09/adventures-in-art-market-commodification-james-stewart-edition/comment-page-1/#comment-48779 Mon, 09 Dec 2013 23:32:52 +0000 https://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=22854#comment-48779 Nope, just the word which came to mind.

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By: maynardGkeynes http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2013/12/09/adventures-in-art-market-commodification-james-stewart-edition/comment-page-1/#comment-48775 Mon, 09 Dec 2013 18:56:15 +0000 https://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=22854#comment-48775 Are you using “commodification” to mean something different from the more familiar (to me) “commoditization”? The former apparently has some Marxist theory intonations, and I was just wondering if that was in the mix here.

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By: dWj http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2013/12/09/adventures-in-art-market-commodification-james-stewart-edition/comment-page-1/#comment-48774 Mon, 09 Dec 2013 15:12:40 +0000 https://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=22854#comment-48774 Perhaps your advice for writing about art should have been to put what was the third-to-last paragraph of this post near the top of any article about art.

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By: midasw http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2013/12/09/adventures-in-art-market-commodification-james-stewart-edition/comment-page-1/#comment-48773 Mon, 09 Dec 2013 13:22:21 +0000 https://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=22854#comment-48773 As someone who’s been around the art world professionally and marginally for some fifty years, I must confess that Jim Stewart’s article perplexed me. And I am a huge admirer of Stewart; indeed, it was thought that my NYTBR review of Den of Thieves, which I insisted the NYTBR print on its front page (and it did), got that book off to the running start that led to huge bestsellerdom.
Certainly there are signs of excess in certain sectors of the art world. When one sees,say, the prices brought by three Rockwells ($46 million, $7 million plus, $3 million plus) on a single weekend, or the wide price disparity of a couple of Warhols, it all seems to make very little sense. Unless one sticks to the adage coined during the ’80s art boom by a wise observer: “It isn’t that the art isn’t worth the money, it’s that the money isn’t worth the money.” And Felix, I think, is spot on about the Gifford “Seventh Regiment…” which is a small painting, hardly big enough to command a wall, and whose estimated price represented an overoptimistic bet by the auction house that the painting’s recent inclusion in a much-admired exhibition of “the Civil War in Art” at the Met Museum would command a huge premium.
But Felix puts his finger on a real fallacy in Jim’s argument. Today, thanks to the proliferation of MFA degrees, and the keen awareness of young artists of what’s selling, there is a lot of very decent work, representing, say, perhaps fifty pictorial “memes”, available at a wide variety of price points. If you like Brice Marden’s sinuous linear style, you can pay $10 million for an original by the artist, or go right down the pricing scale to around $1000 for work that provides a similar kick. This is not to deny the virtue and value of originality and “autograph” work. It’s simply to say that if you have $10 million kicking around, buy a “real” Marden, but if you don’t, you can probably get a similar image that will provide as much visual zing for the money.

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