Why would a smart New York investment banker pay twelve million dollars for the decaying, stuffed carcass of a shark? By what alchemy does Jackson Pollock’ s drip painting No.5 1948 sell for $140 million? The first book to look at the economics of the modern art world, and the marketing strategies that power the market to produce such astronomical prices, this surprising and revelatory book explores the money, lust, and self-aggrandizement of the art world in an attempt to determine what makes a particular work valuable while others are ignored. Drawing on interviews with past and present executives of auction houses and art dealerships, artists, and the buyers who move the market, Thompson launches the reader on a journey of discovery through the peculiar world of modern art to reveal the source of Charles Saatchi’s Midas touch, and how far a gallery like White Cube has contributed to Damien Hirst becoming one of the highest-earning artists in the world.
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1 Triptych Place