Daniel Barnes
The Value Industry
Reflections on Art, Money and Celebrity
For many years now, I have been floating around the art market, thinking about the relationship between art and money. I realised that nobody really knows what value is, but thought I could construct a theory based on Isabelle Graw's idea that art has both an economic and a cultural value. And so began this book project. It is nearly finished and will be published in autumn 2018. 
In a world where contemporary art is bought and sold for millions, it is more difficult than ever to tell the difference between good art and expensive art, but it is possible if we understand the concept of value. In The Value Industry, Daniel Barnes argues that art is valuable as both culture and economics, but these are radically different things and the art market constantly attempts to blur the boundaries. Through a heady mixture of art market news, art criticism and philosophy, Barnes demonstrates that, despite all the money and headlines, art will always survive the ravages of capitalism. High auction prices, billionaire collectors, celebrity endorsements and artists’ publicity stunts only serve to create the myth that the value of art is monetary, but the true value lies in the way that art enriches human existence. 

1. An Impossible Proposition
2. The Expensive and the Good
.3. The Power of Myth
4. Authenticity and History
5. Manufacturing Wonder
6. Weapons of Massive Consumption
7. Anything and Nothing At All
8. Gazing into the Abyss


extract 1- from Chapter 1: An Impossible Proposition -  In which the concept of value is explained and the value industry is definied. 

extract 2 - from Chapter 2: The Expensive and the Good - In which it is argued that a painting can be worth £42,000,000

extract 3 - from Chapter 3: The Power of Myth - In which it is agued that the value of Gilbert & George lies in their being living sculptures all the time

extract 4 - from Chapter 4: Authenticty and History - In which Duchamp's Fountain is revealed to be both a mystery and the start of manufactured art
Cover design by Jon Christopher