‘The Price of Everything’ takes a deeper look into art, luxury and commerce

“The Price of Everything” interviews influential artists, curators, collectors and art historians who share their opinions and experiences with the wealth of art.


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“Price of everything, value of nothing.” Is this what the art world has come to? Has contemporary art become just another luxury brand? Why is art and wealth almost synonymous in today’s society? Nathaniel Kahn’s documentary The Price of Everything seeks to answer these questions and understand the commerce of the art world by bouncing between interviews with prominent art collectors, curators, artists, art auctioneers and influential professionals in fine art.

Kahn interviews high-profile people in the art world, from wealthy art collectors such as Stefan Edlis and his wife who have pieces from Jeff Koons, Andy Warhol and Maurizio Cattelan. Koons explains his feelings toward being regarded as one of the most successful artists of our time, both financially and artistically, in his studio during the process of his Gazing Ball works.

Of the many interesting and intelligent characters featured, some stand out more than others. An example is Larry Poons, a successful contemporary artist. He has been laying low since the ‘70s, but the film follows him as he gets ready for a gallery show in New York City. His main message throughout the film is that art can be anything and should not be dictated by money.

Along with other artists and historians, a main portion of the film talks with Amy Cappellazzo, the chairman of the Fine Arts division of Sotheby's, as her team gets ready for the fall auction. She explains what makes art so expensive. It depends on time period and desire; the more clients willing to bid, the more significant the work becomes. She is straightforward and determined to find the best parents for the artwork on display.

To anyone who loves art, this film is satisfying. It explores how society has created a bubble around the arts, a bubble of expense, luxury and high class. Curators, art historians and artists can see how the money-driven world has affected art of the past and the future, and even the most influential in the art world cannot tell if this is for the better or worse.

Edited by Brooke Collier | bcollier@themaneater.com

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