What is the value of art?

Patrick Andrade for The New York Times

Flash Points

Scenes from a Globalized Art World

Flash Points

Scenes from a Globalized Art World

I’d like to start my guest blogging with Art21 by bringing up a series of questions surrounding globalization and artistic representation. My primary research interest is in the art market …

Artist duo Hideous Beast hosts a Mini Movie Fest during their InCUBATE residency

Flash Points

Unconventional Residencies

Flash Points

Unconventional Residencies

Last November, the National Endowment for the Arts established a new funding category explicitly for artist communities. The NEA defines an artist community as “an organization, whether focused on a …

Front door in Kerameikos

Flash Points

Summer Travelogue

Flash Points

Summer Travelogue

Upon arriving in Athens, several curious and helpful people gave me every warning to stay far away from the Kerameikos and Metaxourgeio neighborhoods, which was exactly where I was headed, …

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The Studio at Colton: A Look Back and Ahead

The Studio at Colton: A Look Back and Ahead

If you had to point to one institution that best illustrated the progress of the arts community in post-Katrina New Orleans—not to mention the progress of the city in general—you …

Srdjan Loncar "Value" (2008), As exhibited at Prospect.1 New Orleans

Flash Points

Flash Points: Art+Economics, Looking Back & Moving Forward

Flash Points

Flash Points: Art+Economics, Looking Back & Moving Forward

Money is on everyone’s mind but particularly for those in the art world, which faces one of the most difficult economic climates in ages. The last few months on this …

louiseslaughter

Flash Points

Arts Stimulus Funding & the Art Economy Part 2: Talking to the House Arts Caucus Co-Chairs

Flash Points

Arts Stimulus Funding & the Art Economy Part 2: Talking to the House Arts Caucus Co-Chairs

A few months ago, I went to the Bronx for a studio visit with an accomplished artist, John Fekner, whose personal brand of street graphics helped define a tumultuous era …

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Flash Points

Arts Stimulus Funding & the Art Economy Part 1: By the Numbers

Flash Points

Arts Stimulus Funding & the Art Economy Part 1: By the Numbers

Talking about federal arts funding in America can be very confusing because of the many facts and figures. So, in an effort to understand the current and historic levels of …

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Flash Points

The value of didactic art and the gift economy—from object ownership to object affiliation

Flash Points

The value of didactic art and the gift economy—from object ownership to object affiliation

There is quite a tradition around visualizing information that reaches beyond the more familiar pie charts and quantifications used in science and commerce, dealing with the communication of complex thought …

Flash Points

Interview with Jackie Battenfield

Flash Points

Interview with Jackie Battenfield

As our Flash Points topic of Art and Economics comes to a close, I sat down and spoke with Jackie Battenfield, whose first book The Artist’s Guide: How to Make …

Nam June Paik, 'Who's your Tree.' 1997

Flash Points

No Preservatives: Conversations about Conservation

No Preservatives: The Clocks’ Tic Tic Tic …

Flash Points

No Preservatives: Conversations about Conservation

No Preservatives: The Clocks’ Tic Tic Tic …

Spearheaded by Richard McCoy, a conservator at the Indianapolis Museum of Art, this site’s newest column, “No Preservatives,” seeks to define the conservator’s role in the conservation of art in …

Webpage from the redesigned MoMA.org, with images from the Online Collection.

Flash Points

Money Changes Everything

Flash Points

Money Changes Everything

I remember, back when I was in art school, walking into a lecture hall where someone had scrawled on the chalkboard, “The only true artists are amateurs.” That was the …

Left, Photo of Superflex by Nikolai Howalt (via superflex.net), Right, My Skype Conversation with Bjørnstjerne Christiansen

Flash Points

Economic Sur-realities: A Conversation with Bjøernstjerne Christiansen of SUPERFLEX

Flash Points

Economic Sur-realities: A Conversation with Bjøernstjerne Christiansen of SUPERFLEX

Danish art group SUPERFLEX has been exacerbating the art world for over a decade with its irreverent style of questioning, which hits hard at the foundations of the West’s economic …

Seoidín O'Sullivan

Flash Points

Inside the Artist's Studio

Inside the Artist’s Studio: Seoidín O’Sullivan

Flash Points

Inside the Artist's Studio

Inside the Artist’s Studio: Seoidín O’Sullivan

Seoidín O’Sullivan is an artist based in Dublin, Ireland. Her art practice investigates sociopolitical and ecological narratives, which she represents in critically engaged and poetic ways. Working within a group—an …

Pilar Tema and Ilana Percher, "Jell-O Bog," 2007.

Flash Points

Reflection in the Porcelain Pond

Flash Points

Reflection in the Porcelain Pond

In the fine art world, the story of the thing is the stuff comprising the thing. Paint, bronze, steel, video, screenprinting, mud, written language—the work is about the medium. And …

"Economic Times Hit The Nat Hist Museum" by uncleboatshoes on Flickr (http://www.flickr.com/photos/uncleboatshoes)

Flash Points

The best is not quite over…

Flash Points

The best is not quite over…

One of the first rules for the nouveau riche is to save a little for a rainy day. Unfortunately, in the doom and gloom that has come with daily announcements …

"Having Fun at the Museum," Uploaded to Flickr by katie killary on April 6, 2009.

Flash Points

What Goes Down Must Come Up: Talking with Arnold Lehman of the Brooklyn Museum

Flash Points

What Goes Down Must Come Up: Talking with Arnold Lehman of the Brooklyn Museum

As the recession continues, reports of shrunken endowments, budget cuts, salary reductions, and layoffs pierce the headlines of museum news. The Brooklyn Museum is one of the most recent institutions …

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Flash Points

The Fire’s Good for the Forest: An Interview with David A. Ross

Flash Points

The Fire’s Good for the Forest: An Interview with David A. Ross

David A. Ross, best known for his directorships at the Whitney Museum of American Art and SFMOMA, has taken on a variety of leadership positions in the art world. Besides …

Filip Gilissen, "Vamos," installation still, 2009.  Courtesy the artist and Exhibition.

Flash Points

Free & Clear: Exhibition and the Free Store

Flash Points

Free & Clear: Exhibition and the Free Store

Is free sometimes the best value for art?  Well, it certainly can be when artists and curators turn an inquisitive and critically-engaged eye towards the nature of exchange, regeneration, and …

Elaine Tin Nyo, "The Bake Sale." Deitch Projects, NYC, 1997.

Flash Points

What a Way to Make a Living: New Artist Economies and the Role of the Arts Administrator

Flash Points

What a Way to Make a Living: New Artist Economies and the Role of the Arts Administrator

I am an arts administrator, which is arguably the second invisible position in line behind the artist. The administrator’s cultural discount is not only applied when independently presenting an exhibition …

Adrian Piper, Mythic Being Doing Yoga, 1975

Flash Points

The Power of Now: Adrian Piper’s Indexical Present

Flash Points

The Power of Now: Adrian Piper’s Indexical Present

Everyone has heard about the value of “being in the moment,” letting thoughts of the past and worries about the future drip away while focusing on the here and now. …

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Flash Points

An Interview with EnjoyBanking, New York’s $treet Artist$

Flash Points

An Interview with EnjoyBanking, New York’s $treet Artist$

For months, I’ve been spotting countless friendly and ironic stickers popping up across the city’s art-friendly zones. These cutesy bubble-lettered slogans scream “Enjoy Subprime Lending,” “Enjoy Credit Crunch,” “Enjoy Bailout …

"Mom and Pop Art" The Simpsons Season 10 Episode 19

Flash Points

The Simpsons Family (Art) Values

Flash Points

The Simpsons Family (Art) Values

It seems The Simpsons has something to say about everything, including the value of art. In “Mom and Pop Art,” a treasure of an episode from 1999, Homer is discovered …

Image courtesy W.A.G.E.

Flash Points

W.A.G.E. LIVE!

Flash Points

W.A.G.E. LIVE!

After reading Trong Gia Nyugen’s great interview with activist group Working Artists and the Greater Economy (W.A.G.E.), I become really interested in their work. I started to poke around the …

Damien Hirst, "For the Love of God," 2007. Platinum, diamonds, and human teeth.

Flash Points

For the Love of God: The Artist as Capitalist

Flash Points

For the Love of God: The Artist as Capitalist

In 2007, artist Damien Hirst exhibited a work at the White Cube gallery in London which is reputed to be the most expensive contemporary artwork ever made. Entitled For the …

Image courtesy W.A.G.E.

Flash Points

W.A.G.E. Against the Machine

Flash Points

W.A.G.E. Against the Machine

Last September, as part of Creative Time’s Democracy in America: The National Campaign event at the Park Avenue Armory, activist group Working Artists and the Greater Economy (W.A.G.E.) stumped for …

Sunday Soup at InCUBATE

Flash Points

Experimental Economies: Talking with Chicago’s InCUBATE

Flash Points

Experimental Economies: Talking with Chicago’s InCUBATE

In the current state of financial precariousness, artists and arts administrators need to build mutually beneficial trust economies and supportive networks to rally for funding. And with arts institutions and …

"Recession Art" by World of Good (www.flickr.com/photos/timrich26)

Flash Points

Feeling the pinch: museums and the recession

Flash Points

Feeling the pinch: museums and the recession

I could preface this post with all sorts of opining about the responsibilities of museums to their constituents and staffs in the face of the ethics crises many are confronting …

Sew for victory, 1941-3

Flash Points

The value of supporting artists

Flash Points

The value of supporting artists

Taking stock of the value of art is integrally tied to the value of artists. Artists’ work as educators, mentors and citizens of our communities is vital to a healthy …

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Flash Points

Letter from London

Letter from London: Face Value

Flash Points

Letter from London

Letter from London: Face Value

You can’t have a job in museum education without being asked, at some point, “What’s that worth?” Depending on the questioner, how well the tour went, and how loyal you’re feeling, …

Hans Haacke, "Shapolsky et al. Manhattan Real-Estate Holdings." 1971.

Flash Points

Flash Points #3: What is the Value of Art?

Flash Points

Flash Points #3: What is the Value of Art?

In the late-1990s I took a graduate seminar on “museums and institutional critique” that focused on artistic and curatorial practices in the 1980s and 90s, and included a series of …