Why do people pay so much for art?

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TAJ

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.
#3
When more than one person wants something unique, generally the person with the most money gets it.
 

DiscoJer

Junior Member
#5
I never really have grasped abstract art.

Pop art, I get. Dogs playing poker, Andy Warhol's soup can, elvis on velvet, it's wonderfully tacky. Like watching the Flash Gordon movie or Batman TV show (Adam West).
 
#12
I never really have grasped abstract art.

Pop art, I get. Dogs playing poker, Andy Warhol's soup can, elvis on velvet, it's wonderfully tacky. Like watching the Flash Gordon movie or Batman TV show (Adam West).
Abstract is fine. Minimalist art is probably what you're thinking of.



This.
I dont get.
 
#13
To balance the economic gap between the super rich and average people.

Rich person just bought a thing that is worthless
I buy electronics with real value that took real knowledge & resources to create

I am the rich one.
 
#17
This painting is going to sell for over a million and I wish I could buy it:


Not the full image.
Dorothy Zbornak

Thank you for being a friend

To answer OP's question:

Some art has historical and/or cultural significance and is considered iconic. Warhol's soup cans or Marilyn Monroe pieces, for example. Or some valuable art has significance within the world of art collectors because a particular piece is considered to be definitive within a genre, having started a movement, etc.

And some of it is straight up navel gazing pretentiousness.
 

TAJ

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.
#20
To balance the economic gap between the super rich and average people.

Rich person just bought a thing that is worthless
Buh? An even richer person just made a huge profit.
 
#23
Because "good" isn't a rare commodity anymore. You have to get creatively terrible to impress your rich friends.

EDIT: Also well drawn stuff is not innovative. For maximum innovation you need to ignore good ideas that have been used before.
 
#25
Art is an extremely llimited commodity. Newman created only one "Onement VI." So to own that is to own something no one else can have. Art auctions are filled with rich people who can afford anything they want, so in order to have something their peers can't have they buy art.
 
#26
abstract art is a raw expression of color, texture, form, so on. neither pictogram nor ideogram, abstract art is floating through the veins of the ultimate war-e-agh! when this beast begins to swell ...

so grab your floppy penis and stroke it like a paint brush. drippy-drip da random incomprehensions. release your inner pollock.
 
#27
When more than one person wants something unique, generally the person with the most money gets it.
This. although way oversimplified.

In reality people with insane amounts of money see in art a very secure deposit of their assets. The world of art sales is unique in that regard, things never really lost value, and only increase, I really doubt they are actually fans of art, I cannot imagine an actual fan of say, Banksy, wasting thousands in one of his pieces, even Banksy himself feels flabbergasted about it.

There is a snobbish angle as well, to appear cultured some people decide to expend insane amounts in pieces of art they don't understand.

And at last, some art is not cheap to make, people feel shocked about an unknown artist selling a portrait for $1000, but the materials could easily actually cost that.
 
#39
This particular sale is because rich people have too much money.
If we didn't have so many billionaires, such price levels would not be sustainable.

I actually like abstract expressionism in general and Newman in particular a whole lot, I'm just commenting on the economics of it.
I would pay oodles of money for a Rothko.
As cliché and art school snob 101 as it sounds, yes.
 
#40
I sometimes wonder if the art market is a way of laundering money. A way of transferring money around various rich people without paying income tax or gift tax.
 
#42
if I were mega rich i'd rather buy nude portraits of the golden girls over minimalistic paintings

because i could hang them around my billion dollar mansion and if anyone were to call me out on them I could say they just don't get it in an elitist and condescending way, and it would be a legitimate excuse because they wouldn't counter it.
 

RobotHaus

Unconfirmed Member
#45


No, but really, it's just a rich people way of waving their moneydicks around. "Look how much I can spend on terrible paintings!"

It's a shame they waste so much money on petty things like this and instead can't just donate a lot of it to people who actually need the resources.
 
#47
There is photorealistic modern art too. Robert Bechtle's painting are pretty impressive in person:

I always liked this Pollock though:

Pollock's paintings can be distinguished from fakes by their fractal complexity. It isn't easy to get something to look like this. I think the complexity makes it so your mind creates patterns in it.

Rothko is harder to explain, but I have stood and stared at his work before, and would love to have one.


Having said that, I do think the money aspect of art is to a certain extent disconnected from quality. Not totally disconnected, but there are huge factors besides how good it is or even how much they like it, when it comes to paying these crazy sums.
 
#50
$40 mil is a lot for a work, but imagine what a masterpiece of french impressionism, for example, would get it if somehow one of them was for sale. I think part of the reason for the insane values Rothkos, etc. get is that the best or most desirable ones are still out there to be owned. There are Monets for sale out there, but they aren't the ones everyone knows about.
 
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