Featuring commentary from Marilyn Minter, Jeff Koons, Gerhard Richter and Jerry Saltz
For anyone who is socially aware or politically engaged, it’s so easy to forget that 99% of the art market is driven by a bunch of crazy, rich, white people who would probably throw down over who owns the most exclusive (and hideous) Jeff Koons. Kris Jenner is one of them, especially when she art-shamed her own daughter for (god forbid) not recognising a Jeff Koons, when in fact, the gold sculpture wasn't even a Jeff Koons (LMAO). “It’s a Jeff Koons: K-O-O-N-S,” she exclaimed at Khloe Kardashian.“You need to go to, like, an art class.”
It’s this type of pompous, ludicrous art behaviour that ruins the pure soul-shaking, earth-moving impact of art. The snobbery demeans it as whole and leaves many people with the conception that they aren’t worthy of engaging with art because its something decided by the elite for the elite – even though we know that’s not the case.
Director Nathaniel Kahn also understands the pure insanity of art world elite, and his soon to be released HBO documentary, The Price of Everything, explores it from multiple different angles. Everything in The Price of Everything reflects on levels of elite craziness, from the intense violins that make you feel like you’re in a sinister psycho-thriller, to the pure obnoxious statements pouring out of rich people’s mouths: “It’s very important for good art to be expensive“, states an auctioneer to the camera, to which a whole cadre of artists rebut. “They tried to make it that the best artist is the most expensive,” exclaims painter Larry Poons, “...how can that be true?” The film also features appearances from feminist artist Marilyn Minter, painter Gerhard Richter, and art critic Jerry Saltz as they explore how money has devalued art. Bringing art back down to earth is Nigerian painter Njideka Akunyili Crosby, who explains that for her it’s not about money, but about exposure.
While money and art will always be interrelated, will this insanity ever permit artists from marginalised backgrounds? No. So why is it still allowed to have a place in our contemporary context?
Watch the trailer for The Price of Everything below.