Thursday, November 14, 2013

Art Prices Too High or Too Low?



Recent auctions for artworks have set record high prices, bringing out again a debate about the real value of Art.

Some $58 million for Jeff Koons' "Balloon Dog (Orange)" and over $142 million for Bacon's "Three Studies of Lucian Freud" are prompting talk of "obscene wealth" and "paintings my 5 year old could make".

As someone who works in the Arts in America, these prices are not the norm - most people balk at paying more than $200 for any painting, sculpture, photo, or even a story. Lots of Art experts emerge to opine on what is or isn't Art. But these debates seldom increase the value in our society of Art or artists.

"Some have tried to put things into perspective, lamenting that the Bacon price almost equaled the $154 million that President Obama requested for the National Endowment for the Arts for fiscal year 2013 — and more than the $138 million that the endowment actually received, with cuts.

Others have pointed out that the price would have paid, twice, for the renovated Queens Museum, which cost a modest $69 million. It has been noted once more that such figures make it impossible to see the art for the money, that works costing this much are, at least temporarily, damaged goods."

1 comment:

M said...

You didn't mention the recent sale of an Andy Warhol painting for $105 million.

Also, what about the saying "art is in the eye of the beholder."

Art has always been important in my family. Never has anyone paid such a large amount for any art. However, paying $500 for an original piece from a local artist can be gratifying for many years as can a $50 framed poster.

Your examples are interesting. Too bad communities aren't willing to back the arts.