The $12 Million Stuffed Shark:
The Curious Economics of Contemporary Art
By Don Thompson
N6490 .T525 2008
New Book Island, 2nd floor
Have you ever wondered how they came up with the price of a work of art? You see it in the news that this painting has gone for a record sum of money, but then you wonder, ‘They paid WHAT?! They must be out of their minds!’ What factors control the demand for art – the creator? the circumstances? the mood of the agent? This week’s featured title can probably provide a few answers for you concerning the mysterious art world.
Thompson, marketing & economics professor at York University, takes you into a world that most people can only dream of experiencing – the contemporary art scene. The author examines the artists that produce the extravagant pieces of art; the agents and auction houses responsible for convincing individuals to pony up the dough for their client’s creative endeavors; and the aforementioned souls forking over the money for the privilege of displaying the art in their personal galleries. It’s a convergence of art, economics and psychology that keeps you entertained with Thompson’s excellent knowledge of the subject matter. Anyone interested in contemporary art, from either the aesthetic or business perspective, should read this book.