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The meaning of Art is recreated last weekend at Art Basel

July 1, 2011

With 1.8 billion dollars spent at the fair, Art Basel recorded its highest gross of sales in its 43 years.
In the context of this any meaning of Art is lost on me. It appears that the ruling class needs to find new objects to invest in.

Philip Hoffman, chief excessive of the Fine Art Fund Group who were selling pieces at the fair, said that “With currency volatility, cash earning next to zero and inflation at 4.5 pct in London, a lot of people are looking at art right now as a safe haven for their money…”

So a serious amount of wealth has been stolen so some art collectors could go on a shopping spree. Meanwhile austerity measures are proposed, and approved, all around the globe. No money for social programs or infrastructure, Daddy Warbucks wants a new Rothko.
With the growing disparity and precarity in the world I wonder about the credibility of these investments. They seem to be much more flammable than precious metals.
Photo above: Maurizio Cattelan, famous for using irony to scathingly critique systems of power and government, His 2002 Frankie and Jamie, a wax sculpture of two policeman standing on their heads, sold for $3 million. From Colectiva


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