In The 007 Film GoldFinger;
Auric GoldFinger has this wonderful idea to detonate an Atomic Bomb at Fort Knox,
Believing that by Destroying ( Melting & Contaminating ) All The Gold There,
Forgetting perhaps that The Greater Repository of Stored Gold is in New York,
Will Inflate all of His Gold in Europe too Ridiculous Prices.
Regretfully; His plan fails by a hair’s breath,
Not by James Bond, but by A Middle Management Bureaucrat
that arrives within seconds of The Bomb’s detonation
& knows how to turn it off.
This got me to thinking though;
The Value of Gold is entirely arbitrarily Set;
Or was; prior to it’s importance in The Electronics Industry,
Such that a comparison may be drawn to The Insider High Art Trading Market(s.
The Lay Person; Cultural Pedestrian, can easily recognize that most
‘Gallery’ or ‘Museum’ Art is Bunk & Essentially Worthless,
by assessing its value by its eagerness to be viewed &/or experienced.
Most High Art is bought by Corporations to hang on Walls to provide
a visual distraction from The Lines of Secretaries typing missives
to other corporate ants, that will never be read by anyone.
The Point being; How does this scam perpetuate itself.
Why would ostensibly intelligent people pay stupendous prices
for benign & tepid Wall Hangings that might just as easily be produced
by scale paid journeymyn with paint rollers & turpentine soaked rags?
Is it a Ponzi Scheme ?
i think that it fails The test of a Ponzi Scheme,
In that there is No Theoretic Limit to How High The Prices for Inane Art can go.
Indeed; The Scheme works like this;
Amateur & Professional Art Collectors all over The World
are constantly buying up Art at Rock Bottom prices from Starving Artists,
Believing that someday their work will be ‘Worth Something’.
And this Belief is Supported, Defended & Encouraged by
The Occasional Sale of Some Tepid Painting being bought at auction
for some stupendously absurd price.
Who would knowingly pay such a price for what they know is Crap ?
Have they bought into The Myth,
or are they cannily manipulating The Market into believing that all of their art,
and The art of The Buyer is worth much more than it was The previous day ?
A Japanese Investor may spend A Hundred Million Dollars
for a Crudely Painted bowl of Flowers,
But by so doing, Inflate The Worth of all his other, equally tepid works,
thereby earning a substantial profit by quieting distributing
these peripheral works in The Months ahead.
Or is there a greater conspiracy of The Art Market
to use A Collective Kitty in junction with a Front Man or Two,
to Buy Benign Works from time to Time,
to Validate The Substantially lesser ( Inflated ) Prices
on The Market’s Paintings that fuel The Scam on The Street Front Level.
The curious thing that i find most illusive
is that while other scams like this have eventually collapsed,
( Tulips, Housing, Dot.com )
The Art Market, that is just as disreputable,
seems to have been sustaining itself for a very long time.
What is keeping it afloat ?
The Subjective Determination of The Genuine Value of Art ?