Does the Market Make It Art?

With appreciation for Shane Ferro’s having pointed us to Art in America’s coverage of the Prince v. Cariou appeal, it is interesting to be reminded that the case isn’t about the art but about the damage Prince caused Cariou’s market:

“Bringing up the market is a clear loser for you,” Judge Parker said to Brooks, who confirmed that Cariou’s prints sold for a few thousand Euro, while Prince’s paintings sold for millions. “You sold to a totally different audience, you’ve admitted that not many of the books were sold, you sold them out of a warehouse in Dumbo, and that the book was out of print. Prince was selling to a wealthier crowd, and on this side of the river.”

Update: Apparently it has to be explained to some readers that the judges were discussing the two markets, the photographer’s and the artist’s, not the artistic value of the work. The question is whether Prince’s use of the images to create his own work relied in any way—or caused damage to—Cariou’s ability to sell his photographs.

Some people still seem to think that price is a measure of artistic value when it is only a measure of market value.

Injunction in Prince V. Cariou Compared to Taliban in Appeal (Art in America)