The $12 Million Stuffed Shark

The $12 Million Stuffed Shark

The Curious Economics of Contemporary Art

Book - 2010
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Why would a smart New York investment banker pay $12 million for the decaying, stuffed carcass of a shark? By what alchemy does Jackson Pollock's drip painting No. 5, 1948 sell for $140 million? Intriguing and entertaining, The $12 Million Stuffed Shark is a Freakonomics approach to the economics and psychology of the contemporary art world. Why were record prices achieved at auction for works by 131 contemporary artists in 2006 alone, with astonishing new heights reached in 2007? Don Thompson explores the money, lust, and self-aggrandizement of the art world in an attempt to determine what makes a particular work valuable while others are ignored. This book is the first to look at the economics and the marketing strategies that enable the modern art market to generate such astronomical prices. Drawing on interviews with past and present executives of auction houses and art dealerships, artists, and the buyers who move the market, Thompson launches the reader on a journey of discovery through the peculiar world of modern art. Surprising, passionate, gossipy, revelatory, The $12 Million Stuffed Shark reveals a great deal that even experienced auction purchasers do not know.
Publisher: New York, NY : St. Martin's Griffin, 2010
Edition: First St. Martin's Griffin edition
ISBN: 9780230620599
Branch Call Number: N6490 .T525 2010x
Characteristics: 268 pages, [8] pages of plates : illustrations (chiefly color) ; 24 cm


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Jul 08, 2012

I have always wondered how modern art was judged. Now I have some idea. This book tells all you need to know or didn't want to know.

elviralupsa Feb 19, 2012

Great read to grasp the pure economics behind the art world today. A bit repetitive and not delivering much more information than numbers and economic relations.


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