Whether you're interested in the remarkable economy of art or just can't understand the exorbitant prices for artwork, this book, first published in 2010, is meant for you!
The author, Don Thompson, an economist and collector of contemporary art who lives in London and Toronto, where he lectures at prestigious universities such as the London School of Economics, Harvard Business School and York University, describes the art market in a very readable way.
Despite the fact that he himself belongs to this society, he is not afraid to criticize it with a smile and keep it cool. The book is written in a very entertaining way and with a certain perspective.
Don Thompson benefits from the experience he has gained during his career in his book. By meeting with leading gallerists, auctioneers, collectors and artists themselves, he got a unique insight into how things work in the world of art and all this easily, without any complicated terminology and concepts, passed on to the reader. If you've ever wondered how much a not so well known painting by Van Gogh or Francis Bacon's triptych costs, or how it is even possible that some works of art cost more than a luxury house with a large garden, tennis court, swimming pool and garage full of cars, this book reveals it. However, definitely don't try to find logic in it.
By reading this book you can also learn, for example, how things work at auctions in prestigious auction houses, on which page in the catalogue is a piece everyone came to see and what happens to pieces that are not sold. In addition to interesting stories about famous artists, counterfeits, galleries and auction houses, you will also find the prices of individual works for which it was auctioned. This information is rarely known to the public. It is thus a unique probe into the economics and marketing of art, which is intertwined with interesting and sometimes even bizarre facts from the field. And as the name suggests you might learn something new about Hirst's shark.