ARTICLE: Establishment Art as a Form of Corrupt Currency

Meet the New Boss

Jeff Koons “Rabbit” Trick Makes $91 Million Disappear

 

Another day, another record-breaking auction price for a hunk of valueless junk advertised as “art” by the pestilent Postmodern cabal.

In this case, it was $91 million for “Rabbit,” a stainless steel knockoff of a vintage Easter inflatable. We had two of those plastic blow-up bunnies when I was growing up. I should have kept them as an investment. But who knew then that the establishment art market would go March Hare mad?

Dating back to 1986, the piece is credited to Jeff Koons, but he didn’t actually make it himself. He hires workers with actual skills to fabricate his feigned artwork.

Like most of the collapse inflicted on our crumbling culture, celebrating this new low in high bidding is a top down diktat. There is a concerted effort from on high to make such a sham a hot commodity. In 2007 an actual inflatable version of the reflective rodent was featured in the annual Macy’s Day Parade, as if it were a beloved icon like Snoopy or Spiderman. This gambit failed to impress; it is noted the Rabbit is “unlikely to return.” 

Hot Air: The Koons Balloon

When it came time for one of the several actual versions of the fake art to sell, the establishment went all in. Flagship auction house Christie’s handled the transaction; “Own the controversy,” they breathlessly advertised, giving away the game that what’s being sold isn’t art, it’s infamy.  Robert Mnuchin, the father of the current Treasury Secretary, placed the bid on behalf of an anonymous client. Given the opaque and inscrutable financing of the elite art market, it’s possible artist Jeff Koons and/or a consortium of his business interests actually bought the piece as a self-promotion stunt. It’s happened before, when another Postmodern manipulator,  Damien Hirst, took part in the purchase of his own work to prevent an embarrassing markdown. 

But’s what’s going on here, really? We know the elites poison civil society to further their schemes for domination. Relentless mass media propaganda campaigns are launched to make awful and dysfunctional things like socialism and Lena Dunham trendy. Koons is a part of that enforced corrosion, but assuming he didn’t buy his own work, why would some unknown billionaire put so much on the line to own a second hand mockery of a tacky toy?

The answer may be here, in this article from Bloomberg:

How Contemporary Art Became a Fiat Currency for the World’s Richest

“…contemporary art, once a thing artists made and dealers tried (unsuccessfully) to sell, has become a form of fiat currency for the very rich…Shnayerson describes as a new market dynamic: ‘The higher the prices, the more his wealthy clients vied to pay, hoping that the more they paid, the more valuable their new works would become.’”

 

“Fiat” comes from the Latin, and means roughly “Because I said so.” Usually the “I” is a government entity, which issues a currency that is really worth nothing on its own. It is assigned value based on the wealth, power, and status of the nation backing it up. Our own US paper money is fiat currency.

These days the super rich are spinning straw into gold for themselves. Using the wealth, power and status they have accumulated, they are assigning vast value to arbitrary, worthless  objects that make it through the filtering process of the Big Store con game that is the establishment art market. This will not end well.

So why should anyone care that the New Aristocracy of the Well Connected are making fools of themselves speculating in rubbish they pretend is art? Because it’s part of their assault on the quality and freedoms of our culture. As I describe in my book, Remodern America: How the Renewal of the Arts Will Change the Course of Western Civilization: 

Who cares if a bunch of billionaires are getting ripped off?

It’s not really the suckered patrons who are the biggest victims here. Our society as a whole is being debased. By taking art, the manifestation of the soul of our culture, and replacing it with a cynical system that exists only to enhance egos and bank accounts, we’re undermining the quality of everyone’s shared existence.

These self-indulgent poseurs are subsidizing Postmodernism’s attempt to destroy Western civilization. The self-serving attitude of big money art world participants is a public disgrace, and it’s about time they were made to feel it. As a society, we need to speak out, and strip the prestige away from the nihilistic, expensive hackwork our institutions promote.

Recognize the actual agenda behind these baffling choices: it’s all about control.

Make no mistake, the structure of the contemporary art world is used as a club to batter ideals of excellence, faith, and community that used to be celebrated in art. Our elites want to exterminate the artistic experience, and they use big dollar sales of dispiriting crap to warp artists away from their true purpose.

I don’t care if someone paid more that the gross national product of Sri Lanka on a trite piece of custom metal work. A shady price tag adds nothing to its intrinsic value. The piece is as hollow as the Rabbit’s shiny bulbous forms; it fails to perform as art. Its machined elements deny, rather than express, the human touch.  It does not draw a viewer in; it’s all hard, deflective surface. Intellectually it’s less than a one-liner joke; spiritually it is as blank as its featureless face. As the culture embraces its Remodern direction, the costs for such trinkets will deflate faster than a rejected Macy’s balloon.

 

Won’t Get Fooled Again? 

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12 thoughts on “ARTICLE: Establishment Art as a Form of Corrupt Currency

  1. There was another column along the same lines in Arts & Tradition Weekly, an “Epoch Times” satellite, I think. The Tide is Turning for the Arts, by Jeff Minick. While the focus is on poetry, the concerns are similar. I agree with your premise of the decline of overall culture. Still, who do we know out of rank and file deplorables and even most coastals who would spend a dime on any kind of art they don’t like? Zero.

  2. “Make no mistake, the structure of the contemporary art world is used as a club to batter ideals of excellence, faith, and community that used to be celebrated in art.”
    Realistically, you would have to go back to before Abstract Expressionism, before the 1950s in other words, to find valuable fine art that tried to celebrate those ideals. The collectors, art dealers, critics, museums, and academe have been spinning garbage into gold since before most of us were born. If the very rich would rather buy a stainless steel rabbit than another yacht, who cares?

  3. It does affect ordinary taxpayers if someone donates a modern art piece to a museum with an inflated price. The former owner’s tax deduction will be artificially high if prices are kept high through price manipulation of a tiny, thinly-traded market.

  4. Well you can’t go to Instapundit anymore without tripping over you (Sarah Hoyt this time). Of course congrats. You’ll know you’ve really arrived by the intensity of attacks against you. I enjoy your blog.

  5. Refreshing, but a little sad, that as soon as I saw the title of your article in my feed I know who had written it, because there are so few people (that I’ve discovered anyway) fighting back against the hijacking of art by the ultra rich, nihilist pseudo-philosophy, and radical left political ideologues.

    I both want to understand more about how the market and money plays into art, but also don’t want to know, because important as it is to grapple with this cancer, it’s not at all my cup of tea. I have precisely zero significant interest in how rich people manipulate money.

    I’m going to use that photo of “Rabbit” for one of my “Radical New Boring Shit” parodies (you may not be aware of them, as I’ve only shared them on Instagram, but I’m on #19).

    I appreciate you attempts to pick apart what’s going on in the art world. I’m always looking for clues to understand it myself, and it’s some sick, complex shit. I was just lamenting today, walking home from getting groceries, that art has selfishly been categorically stolen by the rich and powerful for personal profit.

    I always like to point this out, but, one of the consequences other than as regards rich people and their money (making it or losing it) is that, looking back. when there was the great musical renaissance of rock peaking around 67-73, visual art offered up nothing to contend with it in terms of popular appeal or interest. This was, I believe, because of the triumph of conceptualism. There should have been dozens of painters on par with Jim Morrison or Jimi Hendrix or Janis Joplin. All of them somehow didn’t happen. Generations of visual artists were stunted, sidelined, maligned and ostracized in the art word and in art schools as people mistakenly came to believe that conceptual art superseded visual art and rendered it passe.

    Ooops, went off on a tangent. [Will share my Radical New Boring Shit material on the Stuckism FB page in some days].

    Cheers,

    EW

  6. these guys ( at least the ones with any sense) are scared. They are starting to wake up to their peril, but old habits really really die hard, especially if it’s making money.

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