“It’s very important for good art to be expensive,” auctioneer Simon de Pury says at the beginning of “The Price of Everything,” the documentary about the contemporary art market that premieres November 12 on HBO.
“You only protect things that are valuable,” de Pury continues. “If something has no financial value, people don’t care.”
Such a brazen quote sets the tone for a slick feature that pulls the curtain back on the top tiers of the art market as told by its power players. The filmmakers gained access to their inner sanctums and let their subjects explain this kooky world themselves.
The result is a superficial but deeply entertaining romp driven by a propulsive soundtrack, which helps explain to the layperson what the contemporary art market has become in the last few years.
There is no narration, no moralizing, no definitive conclusions, just director Nathaniel Kahn behind the camera asking questions.
Because of the compulsive watchability of the footage and the high-gloss presentation, it very well could be a crossover hit on the level of “The September Issue” (2009), a film about making the September issue of Vogue, which drew in viewers with no previous interest in the fashion world.
Read the story at Artsy.
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