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Contemporary Art

A New Documentary Seeks to Demystify the Billion-Dollar Contemporary Art Market

By Stephanie Sporn

M oney and beauty are entangled in the art world perhaps more than in any other industry. The Price of Everything, an HBO Documentary Film that debuted at Sundance in January, examines this complex relationship, one that may be perceived as paradoxical but is nevertheless vital to sustain the art market. Acknowledging the speculation and headlines that this cultural sphere attracts, The Price of Everything offers an anecdotal approach to what happens behind the scenes through conversations with some of its key players.

Amy Cappellazzo
Sotheby's Amy Cappellazzo. Photo Courtesy of HBO.

Gerhard Richter, Jeff Koons, Marilyn Minter, Njideka Akunyili Crosby, George Condo and Larry Poons are among the contemporary artists featured in the film. The well-rounded roster of insiders comprises everyone from collectors, like Stefan Edlis and Gael Neeson, to curators and dealers – Jeffrey Deitch, Connie Butler, Mary Boone and Gavin Brown, to name a few – as well as critics and historians, such as Barbara Rose and Jerry Saltz. Sotheby’s Amy Cappellazzo, Chairman, Executive Vice President, New York, and Oliver Barker, Senior Director, Chairman, Europe, are also prominently featured.

Artist George Condo
Artist George Condo. Photo Courtesy of HBO.

Ahead of HBO's theatrical and TV releases, Sotheby’s is hosting a private reception and screening of The Price of Everything on 2 August in Aspen, where much of the art world will flock to for ArtCrush, the Aspen Art Museum’s benefit auction and event series, which Sotheby’s has sponsored for the last six years. The event will also include a discussion with the documentary’s Oscar-nominated director Nathaniel Kahn, as well as one of the film’s producers, Jennifer Blei Stockman, former Guggenheim board president and producer behind Love, Cecil, a documentary by Lisa Vreeland released earlier this year, which Sotheby’s also screened in New York.

Stay tuned for images from Sotheby’s The Price of Everything event in Aspen, as well as a more in-depth look at this captivating film, closer to its wide release.

Lead Image: Artist Larry Poons. Photo courtesy of HBO.

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