Artists and intellectuals bemoan markets for ruining art in so many ways – one could write all day about all the ways markets allegedly corrupt art. But here’s a great, perhaps indisputable, fact about art and market economies – any person can have a masterpiece in their own home, or at least a decent copy.
Consider the following: For a few dollars, any person can download pictures of their favorite Picasso from the Internet at minimal cost and print out color copies at Kinko’s. For about $40, anybody can buy a book, magazine or gallery catalogue with a full color reproduction of your favorite fish tank basketballs. If you want it on the wall, for a few hundred bucks, you could easily buy a nice poster and have it framed. For a few thousand bucks, you could probably hire an artist to make you an uncanny reproduction of the original work. And of course, if you have a few hundred thousand bucks to spend, or millions, you could have Gerhard Richter come to your house and paint a nice blurry portrait of you and your family. Not a bad deal when you think about it.