• Saligia Art Gallery

The Price of Everything (and the value of nothing....)

jeff koons balloon dog saligia art gallery nelson nz
Jeff Koons' Balloon Dog - Orange ... 'worth' - ahem - choke - nearly $NZ88m.

The other night we had a rare outing to State Cinema 6, where a pertinent and interesting doco was screening.

The Price of Everything turned the spotlight on the art world - the machinations,outrageous price-setting and sheer absurdities of it all.

Centre-stage was one Jeff Koons, among the highest paid living 'artists' of our time whose banal creations have been exciting over-rich and under-discriminating art collectors for too long.

Nearly $US60m for a bloody balloon puppy? Really? Hans C Anderson sure got it right when he penned The Emperor's New Clothes nearly two centuries ago.

It seems the super-rich collectors populate their own little bubble, deciding which artists are to be their chosen ones and acting like a cartel to protect their investments, ensuring prices settings stay on extreme.

Pump in too much air and bubbles will burst, but this one seems to operate at a level beyond the rules and vagaries of normal economics.

Anyway, what does this have to do with Saligia Art? Nothing much. We kind of loathe Koons and all he stands for, and I'm sure he'd be terribly distressed to learn that (not). His estimated net worth of more than $200m might help ease any bitterness.

Anyway, Koons has stated there are no hidden meanings or critiques in his works.

We suggest that art without meaning is merely bling - no matter how eagerly collectors and investors with far more money than sense - or taste - might jostle for it on the auction-house floor.

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