Originally Posted by iamgine
I never get why painting sells for so much. I guess it's the rich man's collection game. As I understand it, it's the demand, history and rarity of the painting and not really the "artfulness" of it that drive the price up.
It's very complicated actually.
In the short term it's the market, like you say. And the market can be driven by a few relevant players (huge collectors and/or gallerists), regardless of the "artfulness" (or let's say the actual artistic value) of the work.
In the long term, there is a higher correlation between the economic/market value of a work and its artistic value.
True genius remains.
Why does painting sell so much? Because those works are unique.
There are diamonds or other stones that are worth as much as painting masterpieces and no one wonders why.
They are rare and they have an aesthetic value + in the case of painting there's human genius put into them.
On another note one might wonder why this
and many more similar to them, each have a comparable, astronomical value.
This is the same idea repeated over and over.
It is revolutionary, conceptually outstanding, ok... But oh well.
Anyways, while in some case it may be a rich man's game (well, for the richest ones I guess), in most cases is just another way to invest your money.
And while Picasso is the probably one of the most solid investments you can make, when you set a new world record it is very very tough to say you have a made a good investment
I'm not saying that in the future the buyer won't be able to re-sell it at the same price or higher, but certainly you won't make the biggest margin out of it.