Why Modern Art Is So Expensive | So Expensive

Modern art is expensive. From completely white canvases to simple, abstract colors, these seemingly basic works
can cost you millions. So what makes their price so high, and how can they possibly
be worth this much money? Modern art is a wide field, covering everything from
around 1870 to 1970. But say “modern art” to
someone on the street, and chances are they possibly
picture something like this. At the turn of the century, art changed. From the birth of abstract impressionism to the minimalists and
even performance art, art was no longer just about representing the world with skill. Susie Hodge: That skill faded away after photography was invented. Once photography was invented, that was a skill the camera could do, so artists no longer felt that that was their primary
reason for making art. Art isn’t about beauty. That’s…it never was, really. Narrator: Art generally
became more conceptual and more challenging. But this change wasn’t
popular with everyone. In a 2016 study of the British public, 28% of people don’t consider this art. 65% of people don’t think this is art. And 83% of the public definitely don’t consider this to be art. Over 100 years after its creation, the work is still somehow as divisive and controversial as ever with the public, but that hasn’t stopped
record prices being set. Hodge: I think most people think that modern or contemporary artists are having a laugh at their expense, and nobody wants to feel a fool. Narrator: For many who
are immediately dismissive of these pieces, frustration also often comes
when they see the price. Ana Maria Celis: Most of us,
I think, tend to be cynics, and we, I think, a lot of times associate art with value, and I think that triggers
the question of, well, why is it that much? Or, why such a high value if, you know, I could probably do this? I think, unless you’re in the market and actively buying art, there’s no need to look at art and think about price tag. It shouldn’t be the way you look at art. Narrator: For the artists involved, what looks simple can be the culmination of a lifetime’s work. Take the “Black Square,” for example, painted by turn-of-the-century avant-garde artist Kazimir Malevich. This simple black painting
didn’t come out of nowhere. It’s the result of 20 years of simplification and development. When it was shown, the “Black Square” was
a revolutionary symbol, exhibited at the top corner of the room, a spot reserved for
orthodox religious icons. Making this work wasn’t exactly
an easy decision either, and in 1930, Stalin’s regime confiscated Malevich’s artworks and manuscripts, and he was jailed for two months. Hodge: Yes, the white
canvases or the black canvases are very rarely all they’ve done. They haven’t just come out of school and said, “I could paint a black canvas.” I mean, as much as we might
think we could do that, yes, we could do that, but the artist has thought of it and probably had a journey, quite a long journey, and
a process to get there. Narrator: The works aren’t
just made for profit. It’s often only after the artist is dead that the art can fetch
the incredible price that it’s reached today. In 2008, one of Malevich’s abstract works sold for $60 million, and the demand for these
important modern works is only going to increase. Celis: The natural trend is for
you to see a rise in prices, but that’s because it’s, these true masterpieces are rare to find because they’re really all in museums. Narrator: But setting an
actual price can be tough. In the end, the value is only going to be what people are willing to pay. Celis: As long as there’s
going to be artists producing, there’s always going to be sort of shifts in tendencies and
tastes, I would say also, in tastes in the market. Narrator: It seems like every year there’s a new record price, and as extreme wealth
inequality increases, so do the number of millionaires willing to pay the fortune
required for these works. No matter what the artist intended, art is now seen as an
easy investment by many, and companies have appeared
to treat art purely as an asset for financial gain. But despite the ever-increasing prices of the modernist masterpieces, for 99% of the artists out there, their work has always
been a labor of love. Josef Neet: There are
obviously people out there with a lot of money who view art just to be a commodity and nothing else, but there’s gonna be people who purchase or engage with it because they take genuine pleasure from it or it stimulates them or
they feel it enriches them. I’m an abstract painter. Not really dealing much with form. I became quite obsessed; I was painting all day and all night, and it was just something that really, that kind of took ahold of me, so. It’s not easy being an artist in London. There’s a lot of really
good talent out there. I think you’ve really gotta be good to actually make any money. You don’t have the, I
suppose, network, initially. Yeah, it’s a really expensive habit, to be honest. I suppose that everybody’s
got their vices, but it’s my kind of passion and hobby, so that’s where all my time, effort, and kind of spare finances go. Narrator: Trends in the market may change, and prices will shift, but the popularity of modern and contemporary art isn’t going anywhere.

100 thoughts on “Why Modern Art Is So Expensive | So Expensive”

  1. 0:55 to 1:10 Great point! Now let me use my camera to take pictures of oniric dreams,places and events that not longer exist, extint animals,caricatures,magic creatures,and real people from pure imagination, cause everyone knows that skill after photography became sh%t.

  2. Some Guy: *poops on a canvas

    Normal People: "Ewwww…!"


  3. I love modern art but I cannot take this video seriously if they didn't acknowledge that there is dirty money laundering going on there. It's kind of sad because when you are an artist the best thing that can happen to you it's to be able to make a living out of it.

    Also, back in the days art was something reserved for high classes because they were the ones that could "understand it" and "deserve it". Crazy as it sounds, something similar happens here. It's like: "you just don't get it" and only small circles "in the known" understands modern art. What happens here, in my modest opinion, is that old paintings can be felt as beautiful and it doesn't matter if you understand the topic of that painting at all, because the technique wanted to replicate (or improve) how things looked in reality. Nowadays modern artists are in the search of the opposite and sometimes they want you to think about the concept, and if you don't know the concept or background, you'll only see a black square.

  4. Digital artists deserve WAY more than these people. They spend years to gain their skills, yet THESE people just throw a potato and a paper towel on a canvas and its called art…


  5. I’m thinking about starting a career as a guitarist I’m just gonna play the g note on the 6th string over and over with not rythm and just me humming my first album is gonna be called schizophrenia

  6. Bruh… in high school, kids would smear shit on the stall doors and walls. That was probably worth 15 million until it was “destroyed”.

  7. "it was hard to find"

    Madame I can make one for you right now 😑

    That isn't art… Art is about expression of your emotions and views and concepts and art is the freedom for artists to express their thoughts.

  8. That moment you realize you wasted 7 years of school and 70000 dollars… could have bought a boatload of paint. Brushes. And canvas.

  9. this conception that abstract painting came with photography is very simplistic. I suggest reading techniques of the observer by jonathan crary. From my understanding it was the shift in the observers perspective that brought both painting and photography to the place they were in the end of the 19th century.

  10. It's not the art you're paying for it's the history behind it. Like take for an example a baseball signed with a signature from a famous baseball player that has died. Would you pay 2$ for it? No ofcourse not. What you're paying for is the history and signature of the piece.

  11. For all the people saying “I could easily do that” hey why don’t you nothings stopping you maybe your paintings will sell for millions give it a go

  12. I don’t give a shit about the author, if your selling me a black square on canvas paper you’re getting 2 bucks at most cause that shit takes zero effort

  13. I have a strong appreciation for intricate abstract pieces but I don’t see the value in almost plain canvases or easily reproducible ones

  14. As far as I can see, some people just randomly scribbled paint on paper and became rich and famous. It's art yes, but that doesn't mean it's not dumb either.

  15. After looking at these shit paintings called ' art ' it would be discrimination not to call any canvas that had brush strokes not art

  16. The amount of skill and technique required to produce paintings which people label as "childish" is immense. I disagree with the woman in the beginning that art does not represent beauty. It does. But for me personally, that beauty comes in the form of expression of emotion. If it's a black cross, plain and simple, on a white canvas, with perfect lines and edges and right angles, I can find a lot of value in it. Given context, that painting can mean a lot and reflect multitudes of information. In no way am I excusing lazy painting, but I do think that modern art has an appeal in giving individuals an unfiltered way to produce and express their feelings.

  17. I do not agree to appreciate the artwork from the back story

    as a comic artist, I don't want readers to know how difficult it is to make a drawing and beg for them to appreciate it

    I just want them to judge the comic without considering anything else

  18. There are things that are not understandable for normal individuals with normal intellectuality… pure art is all about bringing out the thoughts in subconscious mind ! Think big

  19. 0:20 This is complete RUBBISH. I've seen better heart felt art then this TRASH!!! I feel deeply offended in behalf of those who actually sacrifice they precious time to create an art piece that screams talent and effort only just to be payed lesser then this I mean so what they just rubbed paint and left there to dry that's not art.

  20. While watching this video my 8y/0 daughter ask me whats modern art..then she said whoah!!its wasting paint😅😅

  21. So it’s not about the actual art,it’s about the “journey” and who the artist is? im not trying to be ignorant but I really don’t think much thought it’s out into a black square

  22. Such an illusion but if you think something is worthy and has a value then it does. Quality is value. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and you have got to wonder if some people are blind. Some art is just unbelievably beautiful. Is it possible art looks better after a few wines? Do they offer free alcohol at art auctions? 🍸🍸🍸🍸🍸🍸🍸🧐🤔

  23. I accidentally wandered into a small art gallery once and the paintings were breathtakingly beautiful but expensive and trust me if I could afford it my home would be covered in these beautiful beautiful pieces of artwork. I am amazed at the talent of some people and art should be shared with everybody. Art needs to be explored much more in so many ways. Let's encourage creativity for all people no matter their status…art should be a way to express our feelings and experiences in life…free paint for all!!!!!!!!!! 🎨🎨🎨🎨🎨🎨🎨🎨🎨 art is a way that can give people quality of life in a bleak world where riches are for the minority. Share the wealth by giving free canvases to let the hopeful and broken and dreamers paint. The broken wings lost can be painted onto a canvas. Diversional therapy at its finest with a paint brush.

  24. My toddler also randomly draws/scribbles something like modern art here on papers, books, n walls, d in house graffiti artist, alas, receive beatings instead, not millions $$$

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