VIDEO: The Art World is a Scam (And Rich People Run It)

Art world links which caught my eye…

A video produced by Wendover Productions. Their YouTube “About” page says they are “explaining how our world works.”

They sure explain the contemporary art market, as a corrupt, insular money laundering scheme which has nothing to do with art. As the video states, “There isn’t one, blockbuster scam at the center of the art market. Rather, it’s a market composed of scams.”

Our cultural institutions have been co-opted to serve this criminal enterprise instead of providing genuine artistic experiences to society.

One of the scams used is the Big Store con game, as described in my 2018 book, Remodern America: How the Renewal of the Arts Will Change the Course of Western Civilization.

Major money visibly changes hands these days at art auctions and art fairs. The whole machinery of these angles of the establishment art racket are the equivalent of the fraud technique called “The Big
The Big Store sets up a controlled environment where everyone except the marks are creating the appearance that they are transacting legitimate business. In the art market version, offering valueless
art through once reputable auction houses or in the celebrity soaked version of a swap meet gives a veneer of legitimacy to the proceedings.
Everyone the mark might encounter at such events—artists, dealers, journalists, academicians, other patrons—everyone is invested in perpetuating the delusion. There’s careers on the line and billions
of dollars at stake in keeping the hype alive, because hype is all that keeps this ridiculous bubble inflated.
There are lots of different parts to play in the Big Store. A “Shill” operates to promote the con game without revealing their personal stake in the outcomes. For instance, auction houses like to present
themselves as if they were scholarly institutes objectively discussing the amazing importance of the works displayed. The fact they are looking to collect fat commissions from the sale of said objects is
discretely overlooked.
The “Face” is a glamorous participant intended to distract the mark from thinking clearly. The glut of celebrities and Beautiful People that are drawn to exclusive art happenings guarantee buzz will exceed
rationality during such events.
The “Roper” is probably the most strategic player in the art market these days. This is a person whose affluence leads to influence, a savvy and powerful individual whose participation gives credibility to the whole enterprise. What is ignored is how much moguls like this manipulate the market to serve personal interests, using insider trading, shady financing and backroom deals to inflate the value of
their own collections.
In any other industry, common practices of the establishment art market could probably lead to criminal charges. But in the unregulated free-for-all of the art world, it’s very hard to bring these cases of potential white-collar crime to justice, and the victims here are less than sympathetic. After all, the buyers are people who have so much money it’s meaningless to them. 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.

As bleak as this situation is, I see it as an opportunity. As the current elites crash the culture in a desperate attempt to maintain their grip on power, their phony art world will collapse with them.

We can rebuild art to serve as spiritual communion for society again, which was its traditional and valid function.


I don’t fundraise off of my blog. I don’t ask for Patreon or Paypal donations. If you’d like to support the Remodern mission, buy a book. Or a painting

Learn more About My Art: Visionary Experience

My wife Michele Bledsoe has written her own inspirational book, Painting, Passion and the Art of Life.


Visit other posts for more commentary on the state of the arts.

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6 thoughts on “VIDEO: The Art World is a Scam (And Rich People Run It)

  1. Tomorrow (election day) is only the beginning not the end (as so many people think) but to even get to the beginning is very hard.

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