Monday, May 23, 2016

"That magic trick illustrates the fundamental absurdity of treating contemporary art as an investment vehicle." (UPDATED 3X)

"In one simple statement, the creator took these 'assets'––ostensibly worth thousands of dollars each––and rendered them worthless to the market. So the next time you hear a silver-tongued broker explaining the wisdom of adding living artists' works to your portfolio, ask him how he'd feel about investing in Facebook if Mark Zuckerberg could suddenly 'de-authenticate' a few thousand shares any time Goldman Sachs pissed him off : )"

Tim Schneider on the Simchowitz-Mahama settlement.

UPDATE:  Brian Frye asks some good questions in the comments at Schneider's blog:  "I wonder about the metaphysics of 'de-authentication.' In other words, does it always work? And to what extent? If so, why does the market (i.e. investors) allow the artist to unilaterally determine the 'authenticity' of the work? Can you imagine a circumstance in which the market would ignore the artist's ipse dixit?"

Cady Noland is of course relevant here.

UPDATE 2:  And I should have linked to Amy Adler here:  "A recent lawsuit involving the artist Cady Noland illustrates the way in which a living artist’s disclaimer of a work, even when everyone knows it’s 'real,' can still transform it into a fake."

UPDATE 3:  A different view from Sergio Muñoz Sarmiento:  "Put simply, we don’t think this is more than another attempt by certain artist to bite the same hand that feeds them, and that feeds them well. In other words, it’s marketing ploy with little teeth, because unless your head is still stuck in the sand you’ve come to understand that it’s the collector and the art market that dictate what is a work of 'art.'"