“What has been good for the art world has been disastrous for the rest of the world.” It’s a strongly worded polemic from Andrea Fraser, who just contributed an essay on the subject to this year’s Whitney Biennial in lieu of an artwork. Today the New York Times Magazine makes the same point in an article by business and economics journalist Adam Davidson, who provides a convenient four-point summary:
1. Art isn’t much of an investment.
2. It’s more like a bet on the .001 percent.
3. So do you believe rampant inequality will continue?
4. Wanna put money on it?
For further investigation into the weirdness of the art market, you might want to look for occasional commentary from Reuters finance blogger Felix Salmon. (Or the original economics paper that inspired Fraser.)