The Lemming Market by Atossa Araxia Abrahamian

Question: Why does the global elite like art so much?

Global elites, are people that make living by joining a ‘lemming’ market which refers to a group of people unthinkingly joins a mass movement, especially heading to destruction. In 1890, Alfred Marshall noted that the prices of artworks could not fully understood according to supply and demand. That being said, for the global elite, the price at which an artwork is sold depends much on whether they fancy for it to happen to be present at its sale. Arts are traded in primary and secondary markets, (private and public) also depends on how big the market is and the numbers available for the global rich to invest in. The question is if the global rich collects art of a lifelong passion as the passion is for the art itself or what it stands for? In her first book, Big bucks Adam wrote ‘Art is relatively high on the pyramid of billionaire needs.’ Where elites and rich people tend to have high demands on expensive collections to purchase in biddings and art markets. For instance, the Saudi’s made their bidding on the ‘Leonardo da Vinci’s Salvador Mundi’ and told him that Leonardo would be treated to a healthy, heavily air- conditioned home in the Abu Dhabi Louvre. And bought the piece with a profit of 270 million dollars from Rybolovlev.  The commoditisation of art has turned into a lifestyle for these people. Where art is used to sell real estate, to hotels, in order to give a new building an enhanced hip and prestigious look. The demand for art as part of the history market is capitalism itself, arguing that art has always followed money.

Mina Dagbasi

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