Daniel Barnes
The Value Industry
Reflections on Art, Money and Celebrity
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

extract 5 - from Chapter 5: Manufacturing Wonder - In which the rise and fall of the YBAs exemplifies the battle between art and money

extract 6 - from Chapter 6: Weapons of Massive Consumption - In which Miley Cyrus illustrates how celebrity adds no value to the simulation of art

extract 7 - from Chapter 7: Anything and Nothing At All - In which the aesthetics of Stella Vine explains the dominance of culture over economics 

extract 8 - from Chapter 8: Gazing at the Abyss - In which an unsold Bacon signifies dark times for the market and the triumph of art
Cover design by Jon Christopher