Monday, April 21, 2008

Art for Art's Sake

Photographs by fashionartedit

Art for Art's $ake. By Judith Benhanou-Huet. Vogue Hommes International
excerpted text:

"You need to forget about the living artist and just talk about art. When I got iunto the art world, I consciously wanted to change it. I found it really annoying because it seemed like a kind of club where people would sell cheaply to investors and they'd make the money. Collectors would take the art off the artist and, because they came in early and gave the artist a bit of money, later, when the artwork got resold, it would be the collector who made big money in the secondary market. And I always thought that was fucking wrong. I'm the artist, the primary market. And I want the money to be in the primary market. I've always said it's like going into Prada and buying a coat for two quid and then selling it next door [in] a charity shop for 200 quid. It's totally fucking wrong! Why are they doing it that way around? Art should be expensive the first time around." (Damien Hirst)

"The people who buy today's best-known contemporary art not only acquire major art but also earn an entry ticket to the exclusive circle of the artistically super-privileged around the world. In so doing, they are following in the footsteps of early mega-collectors such as Eli Broad in California, the co-founder of the Kaufman & Broad property empire, Francois Pinault in France, and Dakis Joannou, the scion of a big Greek Cypriot civil engineering group. These fortunates enjoy instant access to the contemporary art lifestyle. And as newly-rich collectors, they also enjoy outsize purchasing power." (Judith Benhamou-Huet)

"When it comes to spiralling prices, the most spectacular increases are for Chinese contemporary art. According to the Artprice database, prices surged 440% between 2001 and 2006." (Judith Benhamou-Huet)

"The jury is still out on whether the art market is destroying itself - the art we had before - or whether it has become as absurdist and excessive as contemporary art society itself. At all big events, a big price-tag doesn't mean that the work is important, only that several people wanted the same thing at the same time." (Judith Benhanou-Huet)

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