Contemporary Art has always been of interest to me. I think it's important to have a grasp of the art that is produced during your own lifetime. Additionally, from an art history perspective, it's a genre that's theory hasn't been mined to death, so there's still some room to have an academic voice and an opinion. I will save my Piero della Francesca and the egg story, that rants on about that topic further, for another time.
It would appear that more and more people agree that contemporary art is valuable. Unlike impoverished arts-worker me, these people are putting their money where their art taste is.
The recent Christie's Auction House sale of postwar and contemporary art made auction history for the genre with sales totally $US384.6 million over two-and-a-half-hours.
The jewel in the auction's crown was the sale of Andy Warhol's "Green Car Crash (Green Burning Car I)" for $US 71.7 million, setting a new record for the artist's work. The iconic "Lemon Marilyn"(pictured) was sold for $US18 million.
I worked for Sotheby's London in the contemporary painting department ten years ago. It was an enlightening and exciting time for a newly minted art-history major like me.
I remember waiting with my boss for the "Frances Bacon Expert" to arrive to authenticate a painting. As we studied the canvas in question, I could not help but marvel at the irony that if the painting was acknowledged as being a "Bacon" it was worth a ridiculous amount of money - if not - it was be pretty much worthless. The authentication would not change the physical object, nor the skill level of the brush strokes but it would still managed to fundamentally alter its value.
Art is sooooo much more than choosing some 'pretty' to match your sofa..