In an otherwise lackluster and unimaginative report on the art market, Newsweek‘s Alexandra Seno gives this account of the health of the contemporary art market:
For better or worse, there are also some renewed stirrings of hype in the contemporary-art market. In June, Koons is having a solo exhibit at London’s prestigious Serpentine Gallery, which is expected to draw big crowds. The law of supply and demand being what it is, many will no doubt continue to aspire to own his art (if not his new book). At the Pulse New York art fair a few weeks ago, five large photographs of Imelda Marcos by Filipino artist Steve Tirona drew plenty of attention. The volume of inquiries on the last day prompted gallery owner Isa Lorenzo, a physician, to diagnose herself with a panic attack near closing time. A museum bought a set of five (there are 15 limited-edition sets), European collectors wanted to talk, and passersby stopped to gawk at the images of the former Philippine first lady gamely posing to help her grandson’s costume jewelry line. In one image, she sits regally holding her pet dog Venus by a leash, in an opulent room that has seen better days. Photo illustration exaggerates the sparkle of her bling. A picture of her with Saddam Hussein in his heyday adorns a table, a classic painting hangs askew on a silk-covered wall and the mirror in a large gilt frame is cracked. The image is a reminder that like classic art, the best contemporary works make us weigh our icons, our values and what we consider beautiful.
Signs of Life in the Art Market (Newsweek)