Eric Fischl was a popular painter in the 1980's. He is one of the artists who hit big when everyone in the world seemed to be young, rich and beautiful.
What the hell happened to cause this insanity?
Fischel discusses this in an interview for the LA Times:
"It was almost like a perfect storm. There was a tremendous amount of money being made by people who were very young, were not broadly educated but were more mono-focused educated. They didn't have a broad sense of history, of culture. Then all of a sudden there's this infusion of money into the art world, where they're looking for things that are not deeply understood but are entertaining, and the lifestyle of it is entertaining. They're hedging their bets, so they're buying lots of different young artists. And it's getting younger and younger. In the '90s, collectors started to buy work directly out of studios in graduate schools by artists who hadn't even become professional artists, let alone mature." (http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/news) *
In some ways I think the art market has never been "normal". Maybe what people think it was is just an illusion. It has to be about money. People who buy the paintings dictate the market. Is it so different today than it was several hundred years ago when all artists worked for the church? The people with money are the people with power.
*American painter and '80s star Eric Fischl offers a sharp critique of the art world's recent evolution in his memoir, "Bad Boy: My Life On and Off the Canvas." He elaborated in a conversation from his home in Sag Harbor, N.Y. (latimes.com)