The art world has developed into a global and confusing market. Well-known works often change hands for hundreds of millions of euros. In order to drive the sums up further, the actors are now even using extremely unfair means. The documentary gives a rare insight into the world of art, which is more and more about money than about art itself.

Year after year, the international press reports record prices for works of art from all over the world. It was considered a sensation 50 years ago when paintings by famous painters cracked the million mark at auctions-now some works by Jackson Pollock, Leonardo da Vinci or Pablo Picasso change hands for 140, 170 or even 450 million US dollars. The art world has developed into a global and confusing market in which artists, gallerists, collectors, art critics, museums and art fairs can compete. Art is no longer just a form of expression, a cultural product or a commentary, but above all a commodity with which a lot of money can be made.

But what is the true value of “art” And how is the filigree interaction between artists, buyers and dealers working? In addition to the quality of works, trends and natural demand for artists, unfair means by some industry players have also been factors in the global art market in recent years: artificial hype, manipulated auctions and credit expansion. The art market is not regulated worldwide, as governments often view its sometimes questionable work as a “victimless crime.”

In “The Art of Business Creativity and Madness”, leading gallerists, artists and collectors give exclusive insights into the mechanisms of the global art market – and critically question the contemporary hunt for superlatives

Here’s a video to show you what the artist is up to.


A questionable development

Traditional auction houses such as “Christie’s” and “Sotheby’s” are among the most important players in international trade in art. They honor works of art by including them in their prestigious catalogs, and they magically attract prospects and buyers from all over the world. Millions of so-called “chandelier bids” are also part of their repertoire at the annual auctions of works of art: The auctioneer here announces a bid that does not actually exist to encourage other bidders to submit a bid. Instead of looking at one of those in the hall, the auctioneer lets his gaze wander to the chandelier in a questionable manner.

Artists are traded as brands, and subject to changing trends and are under constant pressure to store new works at annual art fairs in Basel, London or Miami. Galleries, critics and museums are involved in these processes-but hardly anyone on the art market finds the courage to say no.

International trade in art is now driven by the pursuit of good-sounding names and the latest craze. Where collectors have, for many years, been eager to create collections of talented up-and-coming artists with the eye of an appreciator, they are currently attracted by overpowering gallerists. Meanwhile, even leading museums lack the means to purchase works of art.

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