Asher has no dealer; his work is not generally for sale. When I ask the artist whether he resists the art market, he says dryly: "I don’t avoid commodity forms. In 1966 I made these plastic bubbles. They were shaped like paint blisters that came an inch off the wall. I sold one of those."
The artist Keith Tyson admits that he had a gambling problem when he was a nominee in 2002. "I had an intellectual interest in chance as well as a fantasy of beating the laws of mathematics," he said. "The Turner Prize was my first opportunity to bet when I could have an effect. My odds were seven to two. In a four-horse race, that is an insult. I had absolutely no choice. I’m sure it is solely because of the bets I put on myself that I went from being the underdog to the favorite. I won’t say how much I took home, but won more from betting than I did from winning what was then a twenty-thousand pound prize."
In other words, prizes, plus a betting market on the prize winner, create especially strong incentives.