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The Supermodel and the Brillo Box: Back Stories and Peculiar Economics from the World of Contemporary Art (Anglais) Relié – 27 mai 2014


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Amazon.com: HASH(0x9ce41f3c) étoiles sur 5 46 commentaires
14 internautes sur 16 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x9cebc864) étoiles sur 5 Explains it all 9 avril 2014
Par Phelps Gates - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié Commentaire client Vine pour produit gratuit ( De quoi s'agit-il? )
I confess to some bafflement on the subject of contemporary art, especially items like the notorious "pickled shark," and was delighted to find Thompson's book, which explains exactly what's going on, without being snarky. As he explains, art (at the most rarefied levels) is no longer about beauty but about being disturbing. This is why much art is no longer anything you would enjoy looking at or even having in your home, but is an object that "does" something: primarily make a statement of some kind. What is art, anyway? Walter Kirn (Lost in the Meritocracy) decided in the 3rd grade that art was "any random useless object created to break up the school day and then toted home to show off to one's parents after which it was misplaced or thrown away." A cynic already! But as Thompson says, art is anything that an artist says is art. Which raises the question, of course, of who is an artist? And why is Damien Hirst considered the creator of his paintings even though Rachel Howard actually paints them? The book explains it all.

Thompson gives the clearest explanation I've seen of just what drives the modern art scene. The proliferation of museums and of the super-rich all competing for "important" pieces (especially ones with interesting backstories) creates a pricing structure that would make even Veblen gasp. He details the rise of the über-gallery and the über-über-gallery, explains the mysteries of auction price manipulation, and discusses the rise of art collecting in China and the oil sheikdoms. If you're looking for the staight dope, this is it, and it's delivered in a straightforward way, without stooping to "ain't-it-ridiculous" snarking.
11 internautes sur 13 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x9d751900) étoiles sur 5 Not relevant to 99 percent of readers, but an intriguing read all the same 30 avril 2014
Par Nathan Webster - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié Commentaire client Vine pour produit gratuit ( De quoi s'agit-il? )
I'm pleased to say that I've dabbled in fine art wheeling-and-dealing (at about .000001 percent of the stakes that are described here), and it gave me enough personal context to be able to follow along and understand author Don Thompson very detailed but engrossing study of fine art economics.

I will say that my opinion is jaundiced by how seriously society seem to take all this in 2014 - to the tune of tens of millions of dollars for art bought on a whim by the richest one percent. Like Thompson says in the book, we wouldn't care if some rich guy bought a car, but I'm supposed to care because he hung a Damien Hirst on the wall? And yet we do.

Of course, the reason for that is part of the "fine art industry" that has been created - especially over the last couple decades. What might have started out as a small gallery with a few high-end clients and a lot in the middle, is now geared to HUGE money at the top end, and not a whole lot of concern for those below. The big auction houses, in combination with top galleries exist in a symbiotic relationship to drive the prices higher, maintaining ever increasing prices. Big auctions become "events" much more than a simple opportunity to buy something - and with that interest, prices keep climbing. We want to know, "who bought The Scream? And he paid HOW much?? Wow!"

It's very difficult to respect an industry that takes itself so seriously while providing nothing of any real value (I mean the PROCESS, not the artwork). I feel the same way about pro sports, where prices have gone up and up and up - but the games remain the same three hours long. How do they justify it? Like Thompson points out, when you buy art, you are paying it to "do a job," in this case, hang on the wall and show itself off about how rich you are - not so much about the quality of the art itself.

And I know the feeling - i bought an expensive photograph that I liked a lot. But then the value didn't increase like I expected, and now I'm like, "it's kind of boring." It's the SAME photo - but it's not doing the job I hired it for, which is to make me feel validated for my investment prowess.

I still don't really understand the mindset of the few collectors that Thompson discusses - they don't seem to enjoy collecting as much as "possessing," which is fine, but I wish more of their behavior was analyzed. If you're a billionaire hedge fund manager, you can own anything - so why art? And why by a specific artist? Only an investment? I felt like that was an unanswered question.

And there's a strange relationship where galleries will bid and buy their own artists work at auction. This keeps the price up, since you can't buy it for less - but how does that last? People aren't stupid, and they know the "value' has been manipulated. It seems like that's completely unsustainable, and maybe it is in the long-term, but it keeps prices higher in the short-term? Not sure.

The book's not light reading, but Thompson's breezy tone elevates the fairly intense economic lesson he's providing. If I was confused at times, that was my fault, not his. It does get dry at a few points, but mostly, this is a neat - vicarious - observation of the highest-end art market and all the different players who make it work.
11 internautes sur 13 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x9ce89b4c) étoiles sur 5 Excellent follow-up book to the art world's economics 21 mars 2014
Par R. Mutt - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié Commentaire client Vine pour produit gratuit ( De quoi s'agit-il? )
The $12 Million Stuffed Shark was a good book, but my biggest problem with it was it created more questions than answers. It made me want to write my own book, a sequel of sorts, one that investigated who actually buys modern art and what their motivation is. Luckily, Don had the same itch, better contacts, and a book deal, so all I had to do was kick back and read The Supermodel and the Brillo Box.

Cutting through every layer of hype that brands popular modern artists (those who sell their works for exorbitant prices, pre- or post-mortem) as either good or bad, as geniuses or lunatics, this book delves into the world of art auctions and marketing methods to see why the price tag is king. We see why strange and terribly anti-aesthetic works fetch crazy prices, and how modern artists got to be known as "modern" in the first place. It is interesting and it will likely be appalling to those who think that art must follow a particular format or be worth looking at in order to be worth a fortune. But at least Don offers even these people an inside look into how such "appalling" art got to be so popular in the first place.

Very highly recommended for business executives and majors, people curious about what disgustingly rich people do with their money, or any artist who is willing to stare into the guts of art economics to see what really sells, and why.
9 internautes sur 10 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x9cebcbb8) étoiles sur 5 The book is good, the kindle edition is not. 27 juin 2014
Par b2 - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
One needs access to the photo prints at the center of the book which are not accessible on the kindle.
3 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x9cebcba0) étoiles sur 5 How Much is a Brillo Box Worth? 21 juillet 2014
Par Brett H - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
The art market has been described as the one place where the world's mega rich individuals can spend virtually limitless sums of money. However, it has always been something of a mystery as to why one artist's products might change hands for, perhaps, millions of pounds whilst the work of other, apparently talented individuals struggles to command prices of even 0.1% of these lofty sums. This book attempts to take a close look at this enigma, the individuals involved and how the art market works without, perhaps, coming to definite conclusions on this problem.

A lot of ground is covered here. As the title suggests, it is the contemporary art market which is examined as well as some slightly more mature areas such as the work of Frances Bacon which are not generally considered fully contemporary these days, as opposed to art in general. Some of the statistics are eye catching. Half of works bought in auction will never achieve the same realised price again and no work sold for over $30m has ever, and I repeat, not ever even on one occasion, been subsequently sold at a profit!

This book is packed with examples of how, sometimes the most unlikely of artwork becomes fashionable, how the rise of some artists is truly meteoric whilst others flatter to deceive. Influences on the development of the contemporary art market such as the rise of the wealthy and hence high spending Chinese and the museum ambitious Gulf States are discussed together with the workings of the market from the point of view of auctioneers, dealers, collectors and the artists themselves.

I found much in here to fascinate and inform and I certainly consider my knowledge of the contemporary art market significantly augmented. I would say though that parts of this tome are quite dry. For example I was well aware of the shenanigans of the Christies and Sotheby's duopoly before reading this book and felt it was rather over discussed here. However,overall this is a worthwhile read for those interested in the influences behind the higher end of the contemporary art market.
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