Jan's Reviews > The $12 Million Stuffed Shark: The Curious Economics of Contemporary Art

The $12 Million Stuffed Shark by Don Thompson
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Jul 07, 2010

really liked it
Read in June, 2010

A well-researched academic overview of the contemporary art market, this book also provides its fair share of entertaining stories, and answers pretty much any conceivable question about the mechanics of the art business, while providing a picture of who the people are who play a prominent part in the art world. While it answers the question "How is the price of contemporary art determined, and why is it occasionally so high?" Short answer: BRANDING, BRANDING, BRANDING. At the very least, Damien Hirst, Charles Saatchi and the other characters in this drama are geniuses at BRANDING.

I would love to read more about the actual art, and the taste-makers who drive the market. Fortunately, I'm sure to find plenty to chew on in the extensive bibliography, and I'll never be able to look at contemporary museum pieces the same way.
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