Adam Lindemann on Richter, Kassay and the market

Adam Lindemann is the most interesting person writing about the art market at the moment. A major collector, he has an honest and straightforward insider’s view on it and he doesn’t have any problem in putting his opinions out there, disregarding fashion and trends on one hand and the skeptic or even demoniac views on the market on the other:

With so much trouble in the world, and people protesting the financial crisis in Greece, and dictatorships in the Middle East, and when there’s even a fascinating and worthy Occupy Wall Street movement germinating in our own city, it’s easy to see why artists would shake their heads in disapproval at escalating art prices; most of the world doesn’t have adequate health care or enough food to eat, including too many in our own country. But that knee-jerk view is too facile, because all the money spent on art the world over in an entire year wouldn’t make even a small dent in any of these macro problems. I am in favor of helping people in need, but not at the expense of culture; I’m not a moralist.

We’d all feel better if the artists produced less, the galleries sold less, the museums did fewer and better shows and the collectors bought less of it for a while—at least until the world settles down a bit. Everyone in the art world has enjoyed the benefits of the monetary appreciation of art, so I don’t have much patience for those who complain about it. Perhaps what Richter really meant is that his art is worth more than everyone else’s, in which case I agree with him. But I’m not offended by what someone can afford to pay for a Richter, I’m just jealous.

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