What is the value of art?

In his latest article Marco Bohr comments on the recent sale of a Francis Bacon painting for $142 million dollars.  The article follows the line that art at this level is now bought as an investment rather than for the value of the work.  Further, the article explores the 1:99 ratio (super rich: the rest of humanity) postulated by the Occupy Movement and how it relates to the purchase of art.

The 99% are the masses – who have become the target, work force and consumers who produce riches for the 1% mega-rich elite in our straightened economic climate of ‘later capitalism’ and the post economic-crisis world.

Bohr contrasts the art market of the super rich, with a new art which talks to its viewers, and is often free to all via the internet.  The new art comments on he crisis of mega-capitalism, where small business and the individual are subsumed by ever-more-greedy corporations and monopolies.

‘The value of this art – an art that depicts late capitalism in crisis – cannot be measured by financial means, but rather, it must be measured in its ability to freely communicate and establish new perspectives on a quickly shifting social and economic condition.’ Marco Bohr.

One wonders then, how modern living artists who are creating because they have something to say, will survive financially in such a world.  Academia is a possible income source for some.  Most others are forced to take other employment in order to eke out a living so as to continue to create.

I am one artist whose work is part of a group show coming up next week.  Here the works will be priced in the hundreds, not multi-millions, of dollars and sold to people who appreciate them for their message and aesthetics.  This art speaks to its audience, it is not a mere entry in an accountants spreadsheet.

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