Arts policy is the crucial policy

http://www.democracyjournal.org/36/museums-can-change-will-they.php?page=all

I tell my students, and only somewhat flippantly, that arts policy is the most important policy arena. Seriously? Well, most people think health policy is right up there—but why live longer if life isn’t worth living? And if you don’t think government has a lot to do with whether and how you can engage with art, you just don’t understand the situation. ….

yes nod sup Lestat IWTV film uhuh I know

The question begs – What Are Museums For?

I just.... I don't even know what to....what??

It’s funny how the anti-capitalist art fans don’t want to stop the tax breaks on art.
If they did, the market for “modern” aka crap art, would collapse overnight.

Europhile politicians right now

The Myth of Modern Art Markets

TLDR: The majority of people hate the style. Justly.

http://drawingacademy.com/contemporary-art-bubble?awt_l=9WmjM&awt_m=3vdcDndjTdpSnqq

Until the 15th century, fine art had sacral and utilitarian purpose. No artist was producing paintings for the pure aim of being admired as a subject itself. The church was the main and only client able to afford marvelous masterpieces intended to glorify the commissioner and religious faith. It was a status quo up to the time when Italian bankers and republic rulers came into play. With new money came a new agenda for fine art. No longer was art to be sacral, it was liberated to fulfill another meaning – to become an object of admiration, the measure of status.

Fine artists obliged with readiness. Before that, no artwork was created because an artist wanted to simply express himself, all works were commissioned and the client had his say on what and how to paint.

The Renaissance brought something new to the art marketplace. Sacral art turned into fine art. It became an object that could be valued accordingly to the fine artist’s talent. The value of the artwork stopped being measured by its size, amount of and price of art materials, and time spent by the artist.

The art became a commodity fetishism, it was idolized as the object itself, it was worshiped for the ‘power’ people assigned to it. Art workshops, run by professional fine artists, with the help of numerous apprentices, started to produce artworks that could be purchased not only by kings and church officials, but also by the middle class.

who ruin literally everything pure

The demand of those private citizens shaped the fine art market for the next 500 years. Art styles came and went, fashion was being changed from generation to generation by new consumers, but art managed to stay civilized and fulfill its primary purpose – to be a beautiful object that deserved to be admired, loved and worshiped.

There has been always progress in fine art. New generations of fine artists were coming and competing for the attention of clients. Those who were brave enough to reject old styles and create new ones left many ‘isms’ in the history of modern art: impressionist, cubism, modernism, supermatism, and so on. Seeking awareness by any means and making bold and revolutionary statements, brought many artists into the spotlight of the media. Somehow traditional art skills started to be replaced with creativity.

talent is equal, an overturned chair is equal to the Mona Lisa

After the Second World War, art had entered its contemporary phase. The market ideology was masterminded and financially fueled by those whose intention it was to use contemporary art as Cold War undercover propaganda weapon. Billions of dollars were invested into the promotion of contemporary art. Multiple private foundations became subsidized, funded and ruled by one governor – The Central Intelligence Agency of the United States federal government.

confirmed

These foundations were and still are actively advocating and pushing contemporary art to the public. The main objective of this activity is to destroy traditional ideals of fine art and superimpose new values and morals of life. The main strategy of achieving this goal is brainwashing the public via mass media and cultural events.

If they say long enough that a piece of garbage is art, then gradually people will start believing it. If someone buys that garbage for an insane sum of money, then it becomes officially confirmed as the greatest art ever created.

The price of artwork was no longer linked to the talents or skills an artist displayed. The price was created by inflated demand, fueled by PR and marketing efforts invested in the promotion of a particular artist. The contemporary art marketplace had shifted the focus of attention from a particular masterpiece to an artist’s name. The painting, drawing or sculpture itself becomes less important as the name of its creator….

cultural QE, reducing the value of real art

Contemporary artists in Europe were deprived of conventional fine art education – the vast majority of art students graduate having no classical drawing skills, whatsoever. Today, there is only handful of fine artists around Europe, who’ve developed their skills to the level equal or greater than a mediocre fine artist of the Renaissance.

a single tear michael fassbender crying

In fact, a new saying has developed: “He is not a contemporary artist, he can draw.”

There is a reason why new artists cannot draw. Their teachers have graduated a decade ago; they are not able to teach what they have not learned from their teachers who graduated two decades ago. Instead, they lecture how to be creative.

I cannot cover any more of this wonderful article, it’s too distressing.

FT Article: “Everything is rigged, art edition”

What did I say?

I saw it coming and I still don't care, funny really

article here; in full;

“John Gapper has an excellent column on Thursday about art auctions, focusing on the degree to which they are fixed or obfuscated by insiders and long-standing established practices.

As he notes, the auction market is a duopoly geared towards protecting and serving vested interests through a system of guaranteed bids and sales incentives, which to some degree obscure public price discovery.

Herein lies the similarity with modern market structure more generally. By providing the means to disguise the hands of “informed” players, the duopoly of Sotheby’s and Christie’s behaves like a dark pool system within a wider market which has no public alternative to cross check prices against.

That is to say, it is a public market, but one that’s structured specifically to reduce the impact of the informed players who have most to lose.

As Gapper says:

Art auction houses bring together buyers and sellers in what is at least an approximation of a public market (allowing for tricks of the trade such as “chandelier bids” made up by auctioneers to meet the reserve). Without some transparency at such auctions, the entire market is vulnerable to fraud.

As Gapper also notes, the auction houses will sometimes waive the 10 per cent seller’s fee to secure prestigious works and even offer something of a rebate to the seller for the opportunity to gain his business. Some sellers may demand a guaranteed bid as well, i.e. the promise from the auction house that they will buy their work if a better price doesn’t appear.

Just like in the world of stock market trading the battle is over top quality flow, with auctioneers acting both as the platforms that facilitate exchange as well as market-makers who can internalise order flow and take real risk if and when it suits them.

That market-making side of the business proved risky for Christie’s in 2008. The auction house was left holding up to $50m worth of work it could no longer shift.

But in another parallel with what’s happening with stock markets, the auction houses have learned a valuable lesson. Yes, they still provide guarantees — since those guarantees generate business, flow and help to support prices — but they offset that risk by striking up deals with collectors or dealers.

As Gapper notes:

The latter put up their capital in return for a fee, and a share of takings of a strong auction. Sotheby’s disclosed in April that it had made $279m of guarantees, of which $65m had been laid off to third parties, and the latter figure has since risen.

This, of course, echoes what happens with exchange traded products (ETPs) in regular markets. It’s just that rather than pre-agreeing arrangements in which risk is passed off for a fee, market-makers in regular markets use ETPs as an extremely cheap parking lot for inventory which it doesn’t suit them to budge right away. In fact, it’s better than that. With ETPs institutional money is actually paying the dealers — or the market arbitrageurs — a fee to provide them with the opportunity to absorb flows no-one else wants at that time.

When guarantees are forthcoming (indicated by strong ETP inflows) the dealers can shift ever greater portions of risk off their own books. In the inverse scenario (indicated by strong ETP outflows) the risk passes back to the dealers who are then inclined to dump stock into the market, but with the advantage that they know what’s about to hit the market as a result.

In the art market, Gapper says a sophisticated collector can get a good return form being a guarantor (by sitting on stock). In financial markets, a sophisticated collector of stock, will end up paying the middle man for what is basically the opportunity to liquidate the stock he holds on demand.

Seen from this perspective, the dynamics can to some degree be compared to those of a risk-transferring futures market.

In fact, when it comes to the art market the work of Prof. Rachel Pownall of Maastricht University, argues this point eloquently.

As she notes in a presentation shared with FT Alphaville via John Gapper, the guarantees offered by the business represent formal structures and contracts for transferring risk. This provides the market with the opportunity to introduce further structured products for hedging purposes using an index as the underlying asset if it so desires.

The problem the art market faces, however, is that any such index would suffer feedback loop effects from the products themselves. The more people who invest, the more likely the index goes up in price, irrespective of any physical demand for the underlying products themselves.

But then who needs to enjoy the aesthetic beauty of art if it’s real purpose is providing the world with investment assets that only go up in price?

In that sense modern art is much more Bitcoin than Leonardo.

It also means the more financialised the artworks get, the greater the incentive to have them go dark, ideally by storing and forgetting about them in bonded warehouses in tax efficient jurisdictions.

On that basis we presume a bunch of limit-order, hoard exposing HFT types would not be appreciated in this market either.”‘

 

The Fight for Realism and Natural Beauty

Abstractions can be wonderful, if taken in small doses. What happens to a craft (as artistry, once named for years of technical skill) when All is Art, and abstraction is an excuse for commercial quick buck shock value?

How many pieces in a modern gallery will be valuable in a century? How many will be considered pretentious scrap metal?

Image

When the shock value of the most gasp-inducing pieces (some politicized, crass and immoral to every normal person, it is no coincidence artists have high sexual deviance rates) have subsided completely, what shall be considered artful? I bet 99% of the contents of these so-called galleries will be giving them away. I realized we have devolved our own former Arts, worthy of the name, to the plain, crude tat of primitive cultures. It’s an outcome of multiculturalism, that Europe has diminished its own standards to random “found” objet.

You may well accuse me of speaking in abstractions on this, but the enemy has defined the terms. Part of my process is to meet their home ground and entice it back into reality. For context, I was reading this article about gallery purchases and am frankly alarmed at the still-increasing exponential amounts being poured into “Modern” “Art”. What could be causing this now? I looked around and found a truly beautiful article about the Art Market I would recommend anyone with a passing interest study closely.

Short version: The transferal of global wealth from the ailing Western economy to expanding Asia (core China) is causing a flurry of demand in the art market because of taxes/status/longevity et cetera. They have a preservationist mentality and strategize for a store of value with flexibility and versatility of easy sale, profit potential and aforementioned, status of ownership, Special Snowflake in sculpture. I understand this perspective entirely, truly I do. Yet their entire plan and billions in the market swishing about have one egregious and a second minor flaw.

1. The valuation at purchase is true, let alone increasing. This is patently false, anyone with eyes to look can see a bubble has been forming over the decades of prattle but the unique properties of art have kept it at bay for this long.

2. When you wish to sell, there will be a buyer. Assumes a good economy where buyers have interest to keep the bidding high and pay its appreciated value.

There is absolutely no reason to believe either of these, connected priors, have the slightest semblance of truth or reason. They are pure faith. I don’t exaggerate, it is a literal logic problem. High intelligence people should KNOW this and its singular Achilles Heel of the Art Market (the fact we have a market maintains we handle it as such).

Image

Relevant: Dying Achilles, Achilles thniskon

This shall be the fate of the present Art Market, a cataclysmic correction, unless a miracle from Olympus occurs and they fall back on the Art Tradition (remember that? me neither) and Realism, sworn enemy of frauds.

You may think I am bitter. However, I can paint to the highest standard (were this the Renaissance, I’d apprentice at a studio easily), and find abstract pieces too cheap to produce to be worthy of my talents. My last canvas, an abstract, took under an hour and in spite of my efforts to draw out the production time. I speak from a bounty of experience.

Image

Famous Example? Picasso was a hack. It is an open secret that he used to paint normally i.e. well, until he found his works didn’t sell (no one cared). He painted/designed random shit in frustration after his love of African savagery (see above) and Communism’s epic lowering of standards, it became famous and sold handsomely and now we’re lumbered with Cubism. He was a known prick during his life, stating the likes of “The academic teaching on beauty is false…”, “It is not what the artist does that counts, but what he is” and bitterly complaining repeatedly “Everyone wants to understand painting” – gee, almost as if it’s an artform, Pablo??

“Art is not made to decorate rooms. It is an offensive weapon in the defense against the enemy.” Hello, Cultural Marxism, nice to see you at the heart of cultural desecration and promotion of mediocrity.

A Happy Ending

You disagree with any of this? Wait. I’ll be proven correct on the market and in taste. Galleries find their “Traditional” wings most popular for a reason – regular people aren’t falling for it. Backlashes are forming. In California, Nouveau Realism is an ever-growing style. You see, talent and craftsmanship do not simply disappear, however much they are suppressed. There will always be artists, true to their ideals who produce beautiful work. As Wilde said in his glorious novel, “An artist should create beautiful things, but should put nothing of his own life into them.” That includes politics, economics and moralizing, pretentious twaddle.

How many artists need to be learned to be loved? The description beside a work has become a substitute for the philosophy which should be clear in the piece itself.