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As has been pointed out in numerous articles and studies the very essence of creativity and innovation is in tinkering, and in trial and error. However, there has been far too much tinkering, meddling and tweaking in the art market in the last decade. The officious parties have shown abject failure to recognize that no one is immune from falling under the spell of the wealth (intellectual, aesthetic or, more importantly, economic) that is contained within artworks. 

In a time of rapid market change, with huge movements in attitude and perception and with a general sense of ‘positive instability’ underlying it, dealers and collectors have naturally sought security and stability even when they had to make ambiguous marketing opinions appear trustworthy and reliable. 

Some years ago the art market began to reflect the fashion industry with art fairs beginning to resemble fashion runways and, as in fashion, after a while things that seemed preposterous, at times absurd, are now seen as normal.

As art fairs have proliferated and become the embodiment of the art world’s existential conflict — torn between commercial values and artistic freedom, the question becomes: Have art fairs developed into monuments to profligacy (extravagance, recklessness, and decadence)?

The art market already knows the answer to this question from decades and decades of experience: the vast majority of all art sold will never have a positive secondary market value. The end result being that for dealers and collectors much attention has been given to how the art fair industry might be transmitting an air of negative favoritisms in the eventual long run from the present unsustainable situation.

Another sign that we’re entering into a danger zone is the increasing occurrence of ‘nonlinearities’, or sudden, unexpected deviations in the art world’s fundamental order. But that’s for another article to decipher.


About the Author

Lawrence Klepper

Lawrence Klepper

As an artist, Gallery Management Instructor, Gallery Director, Independent Curator, and Special Exhibitions Coordinator for City art museums, college art galleries, and commercial galleries in Califor...