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“Aesthetics Have Nothing to Do with It.”

It really doesn’t get any more obvious than everything you’ll read in this article, written by James B. Stewart for the “Business Day” section of the New York Times under the sub-heading “Common Sense,” starting with the title:

With Art, Investing in Genius

Here’s just a taste:

The soaring prices are being driven by market forces rather than any aesthetic or artistic awakening, Professor Galenson said. “Aesthetics have nothing to do with it.”

What does matter, Professor Galenson’s research suggests, is innovation by the artist. “It’s really incredibly simple,” he said. “Valuable paintings are innovative. Valuable artists are innovators. Cézanne did his most influential work at the very end of his career, Picasso at the very beginning, when he invented Cubism. Nineteen sixty-two is when Warhol started using mechanical reproductions and photography and reinvented modern art. His works from the 1960s are the very most expensive. Those from the 1980s are much less.”

Timely words, considering what I just posted yesterday.

In essence, our modern culture boasts of millions invested on aesthetics that don’t matter and hollow innovation.

Sadly, little can be done to charlatan vampires that roam freely in the sun.

* Photo by Andrew Gombert/European Pressphoto Agency, pulled from the New York Times website.