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La face cachée du marché de l’art

Georgina Adam

When we take a look at the sky-high prices certain works of art go for these days – the famous Salvator Mundi at $450 million in November 2017, dozens of Picasso works at millions each, Cezanne’s Joueurs de cartes or the work by Basquiat that went from $19 000 to over $100 million in thirty years-, one can honestly ask whether the art market has any logic. The author of this book, an expert in the field and writer in The Art Newspaper as well as at Financial Times, deciphers in very clear chapters a few of the key subjects: money of course, as well as the problems of authenticity and the beneficiaries, art as an instrument of tax fraud and money laundering, the rise of new powers such as China, the boom of tax havens– according to a witness, 80% of art, which has become an object of investment, is constantly placed far from the public. The ruthless competition between Rybolovlev and Bouvier is known by the public at large, but other surprising characters pop up in this investigation, such as Simchowitz, the king of flipping, who selects artists whose works he buys lock, stock and barrel in order to hike the prices artificially. In the end one wonders which rational criteria are used to evaluate the rating of an artist? There don’t seem to be any.

La face cachée du marché de l’art, by Georgina Adam, published by Beaux Arts éditions, 2018, 240 p., €23 (original edition Dark Side of the Boom at Lund Humphries).

La face cachée du marché de l’art - Georgina Adam

Review published in the newsletter #527 - from 27 September 2018 to 3 October 2018

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