Saturday, January 20, 2024

Quote of the Day (Julian Barnes, on the Art Market’s ‘Grifters, Fakers and Thieves’)

“The art market is international and barely regulated; its products are easily transportable, squirrelled away in freeports or swiftly turned into cash. Grifters, fakers and thieves naturally abound. There is often a cosy nexus between artists, dealers, gallerists and critics; value—or at least, price—is constantly moving, usually upwards; and there is an increasing number of very rich people for whom art is a status symbol. Authenticating a work is difficult, and a lot may depend on it. How might a grateful owner or potential purchaser reward such connoisseurship? The classic example is that of Bernard Berenson…who charged his employer 25 percent on the sale of any work he had authenticated. Today there are art advisers at the shoulder of new money; the deference might be difficult, but parts of the job must be pretty easy.”— English fiction writer, essayist, and translator Julian Barnes, “Painting Is Terribly Difficult," London Review of Books, Dec. 14, 2023

(Photo of Julian Barnes was taken at HeadRead in 2019, Tallinn, Estonia, May 25, 2019, by WanderingTrad.)

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