We interrupt this roundup
Post #909 • November 17, 2006, 7:56 PM • 33 Comments
With the surfeit of auction news in the art world lately - the season's take is closing in on a billion dollars - one might feel tempted to speculate on the larger picture. What does it all mean? I think I have the answer: Nothing.
Oh, one could analyze the data and draw fascinating conclusions, I'm sure. But I've read through quite enough of it, thank you, and as a result I wanted mostly to stop writing about art for a couple of days and go see the new James Bond flick. (It's great.)
The time has come to recognize that money is having the effect on art that it is having on religion: providing a humid breeding ground for cynicism. Sure, we have no measure of perceived quality except its expression in dollars, but let's remember that the dollars are indicators, and poor ones at that, for the worth of the objects. One of these hedge fund guys loses more money behind his couch cushions in a month than I make in a year. You could fritter away hours trying to correlate the dizzying closing prices with the quality of the prizes they win. The charge that good art makes one feel lies beyond measure, description, and, yes, purchase. Let's try to do better next week, shall we?