Money and taste. Ne’er the two shall meet. Well, that might be a slight exaggeration. Nonetheless.
One of the most paradoxical areas of growth in the recently demised art market kaboom was the emergence of ‘art villages’ in China. Populated by young artists seeking a way to apply their skills to a pursuit that might actually earn them a buck or two, these commercial enclaves churned out thousands of made-to-measure copies. Want a Velasquez to hang above the mantel? No probs. A Vermeer to adorn your powder room? Easy.
$US20 or so could get you anything. 70% of the demand came from foreign markets. Not surprisingly, the demand for perfect copies of Jackson Pollock dribble paintings has dried up since we in the West began to focus on little things like paying the mortgage. And buying food.
And as for the young artists, wooed into a cycle of dependence on a market fuelled by our veneration of the ‘Masterpiece’? They’re now struggling to survive.
I don’t care what anyone says. The law of supply and demand sucks. Bigtime.