The overpriced world of bad art

In May 2013, German artist Gerhard Richter broke his own record when his 1968 painting “Domplatz, Mailand,” which looks like a fuzzy black-and-white photograph, sold at auction for $37 million, the highest amount for any living artist. It was a record he held for six months, until Jeff Koons’ “Balloon Dog” smashed it, selling for […]

Adventures in art-market commodification, enhanced hammer edition

Back in 2012, I wrote a post with the headline “How Larry Gagosian is like Goldman Sachs”. The general idea was that both of them use their relationships and their balance sheet to make money off and/or with their clients. Since then, as Christian Viveros-Fauné says, the art world has become even more coterminous with the art market: “Business […]

The (Auction) House Doesn’t Always Win

Christie’s and Sotheby’s Woo Big Sellers With a Cut When Christie’s sold Jeff Koons’s “Balloon Dog (Orange)”for $58.4 million in November, it seemed as if the auction house had just earned a pretty penny.  After all, Christie’s, like other auction houses, typically charge commissions to buyers and sellers, which for high-priced works might be an […]