The manipulation of the art market is the stuff of legends and actually pretty transparent. It’s run “in secrecy” by the super wealthy in a way to make them more wealthy. It’s about intimidation, and that game works for them. This is why I always tell people to buy what they like. Don’t buy art to match the décor (the art will outlast the décor) and don’t buy art to compete as an investor either (the game is rigged before you even enter it). Artists suffer the worst consequences, but there is a way to solve this: buy local artists you like. That’s easier than you can imagine. Art doesn’t have to be out of your budget, and it doesn’t have to be an investment. If you like it, buy it. There’s no reason you need to be the next pawn in the manipulation of the art market.
Also, click the links of the following titles by the Freakonomics folks to get a wonderful view of how the art market really sucker-punches artists:
- 484. “A Fascinating, Sexy, Intellectually Compelling, Unregulated Global Market.” (Dec 1, 2021)
- 485. “I’ve Been Working My Ass Off for You to Make that Profit?” (Dec 8, 2021)
- 486. “The Art Market Is in Massive Disruption.” (Dec 15, 2021)