Author(s): Judith Benhamou-Huet
$136 million for a Klimt, $71.7 million for an Andy Warhol...It's not that art is expensive, but rather that money has become cheap for certain collectors--Russian oligarchs, the Chinese, and American hedge-fund managers. Collections are being redistributed to new fortunes around the world. Sophisticated marketing campaigns, the most luxurious parties, and a new wealthy elite passionate about art cross paths to compete for paintings now considered trophies. At present, details like "who's selling what" and "which auction house is organizing the sale" play an important role in sums fetched. The goal is paradoxical: Always pay more. The Worth of Art (2) offers an inside and outside view on an art world nourished by excess.