The transformation of beauty into claims of prestige? What if there was no super-wealthy class to cultivate and consume art and hence be able to draw invidious comparisons with their peers? Veblen asserted that wealth display and the splurging of money on pointless possessions, non functional objects such as art, was intrinsic to human nature. Yet, art needs this type of vanity of conspicuous consumption to emancipate the industry of art trade to make it a viable activity. Veblen had much to say about art and why they are supported;basically the idea of beauty and its relationship to rarity and expense. Like a diamond, rare art, blue chip artists invoked resources and wealth display, but are completely useless. A stab at Darwin’s natural selection: should the man at arriving at the girl’s house present her with a steak, a potato and carry a tool box? . While a Pollock painting can exceed $100 million, it is also the high cost that makes a Pollock so valuable. Veblen’s central thesis is that frivolities- conspicuous waste- and the pretense of values, arise to to some inexplicable human component that is driven to demonstrate wealth and to establish status….
1. JACKSON POLLOCK
“Number 5, 1948″, 1948
Private sale, 2006. Seller: David Geffen. Buyer: Unknown (rumoured to be Mexican businessman David Martinez)
Right now, this stunning “drip” by Jackson Pollock is the most expensive painting ever sold, though the exact price was never confirmed (but the price displayed here is generally accepted to be true). The exorbitant sum demonstrates not only the strenght of the Art market, but also the increasing interest for the contemporary works of Art.
2. WILLEM DE KOONING
“Woman III”, 1952-53
Private sale, 2006. Seller: David Geffen. Buyer: Steven Cohen
Pollock first. De Kooning second. The immediate conclusion is that American abstract expressionism has displaced Impressionism as the most sought-after Art period. This painting is the only “Woman” by Willem de Kooning still in private hands. One of this women -described by T. Hess as “black goddesses”- has been chosen by theartwolf.com as one of the 50 masterworks of the history of painting. Read More:http://www.theartwolf.com/10_expensive.htma
…The abundance of blue-chip artworks available this season sparked global demand. Experts tell me that when rare works like the Picasso, which was from a private collection and had been off the market for 50 years, or the $28.6 million Jasper Johns Flag (from the collection of the late Michael Crichton) come on the block, they will find buyers no matter what the economic backdrop since they are so rare.
The reasoning is that the quality of the work will make the buyer confident in his acquisition, no matter what is going on elsewhere in the art market or in the broader economy. Buying right now seems to be concentrated at the high end of the market where, as one dealer told me, “a relatively small number of international buyers are willing to spend lots of money on a very small number of objects.” Read More: