Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Art Market and The Mona Lisa Curse

Private art dealers know how much of a lucrative business it is. Art is becoming just a way to make money to some and the prices for famous works are continuing to rise. Works by deceased artists like Pablo Picasso, Vincent Van Gogh, Monet, and Jackson Pollock are being sold for millions of dollars only to be resold for an even higher price. I'm sure these artists would be astonished to see what their paintings are being sold for today. Even artists that are still alive and making art like Damien Hirst continue to become more and more wealthy because Hirst is a private collector himself. Even Colleges sell their collections to gain revenue for scholarships and the school itself.
The Mona Lisa Curse is a documentary by Robert Hughes, an art critic who thinks that contemporary art is over commercialized. In the beginning of the documentary he compares Da Vinci's Mona Lisa to Hirst's For the Love of God and basically states that it symbolizes the drastic change in the art world and that change is based on money. This disgusts Hughes and he says “What ties the Mona Lisa to this glittery bobble is their role in a giant shift in the art world, that shift is all about money. It’s a story that I’ve watch unfold during the last 50 years. I’ve seen with growing disgust; the fetishization of art, the vast inflation of prices, and the effect of this on artists and museums. The entanglement of big money with art has become a curse on how art is made, controlled, and above all - in the way that it’s experienced. And this curse has affected the entire art world.” The documentary gives the viewer a look into the art business and discusses artists who used it to their advantage like Warhol and Hirst. Hughes even describes Warhol as one of the stupidest people he has ever met. No one can tell what turn the art world will take but I am guessing that it will continue to become more commercialized and lucrative as long as people keep paying ridiculous prices for it. It is unfortunate and I agree with Hughes on a lot of issues but that is simply our society today.

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