Among the biggest losers in the current system are artists themselves. With art now considered an asset class to equities and commodities, collectors are forever on the lookout for rising stars whose work can be bought at bargain prices and then resold for many multiples as their reputation soars. When the market moves on, careers are often shattered (except in the case of a few ever-in-demand stars).
And even those artists who do remain popular usually benefit only from the initial sale of their work; as its value appreciates, the profits go mainly to collectors and auction houses.
(Michael Massing, “How the Superrich Took Over the Museum World,” NYTimes, 12-14-19)
(c) 2020 JMN