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Culture & Religion

Did Bernie Madoff Help the Art Market?

According to PaceWildenstein Art Gallery owner Arne Glimcher, while Madoff’s Ponzi scam might have closed some doors, it opened others. The whole reason the art industry is irrational is the sudden trend of treating works like commodities. Since when do new artists emerge on a yearly basis like a new car model? Glimcher tells the story of his start, which he believes fueled a career entirely based on luck— the first work he sold, the moment at which he finally felt as if he’d “made it,” and his reasons for fleeing Boston for the New York art scene. And why China and video art holds the key to the industry’s future.

The idea of forgery resonates more than ever today in a culture in which “the open exchange of ideas has been rebranded as piracy.” 
Arne Glimcher borrowed $2,400 to open his first gallery on Newbury Street in Boston after a chance observation; years later, he looks back on the moment his success began. Image: […]
7 min

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