"Beyond a price tag, the market in fine art is a method of knitting together the elite of the global ruling class around an alternate reserve currency that only the most privileged, a supreme clientele of billionaires, may access.
"Globalized and financialized
capitalism has brought the ruckus to firms and sovereign currencies
alike, and so a highly mobile, ultra-wealthy class seeks to park its
profits in vehicles independent of corporation or nation-state. Today,
the most stable store of value is that which is defined by its lack of
functional use: art. While wealthy art patrons of the past often donated
or loaned their collections to prestigious museums, today’s
billionaires are walling off their works, enclosing the cultural record
within private galleries. This is both a social milieu and a bulletproof
wallet, an economy insulated from crisis.
"The most valuable work of art is the one never seen; the most expensive record is the one no one can hear. The most valuable corporations
don’t own assets or directly employ workers. Value, pulled through the
wringer of haute bourgeois social relations, is not only severed from
use, but begins to seem hostile to it." - Gavin Mueller