The Price is Right?

One of the things I find most puzzling about the world of 'art', is the strange way in which the products are valued. Walking through an exhibition, we may inspect the label underneath a work of art, and find that it is being sold for say, 20,000 yen. Moving to a neighbouring picture however, we may see a very similar work, yet this label asks for 2,000,000. To the viewer there may not seem to be much difference between the two works. Why then, is the price so different?

Well of course, as everybody knows, the difference lies not in the actual quality of the work itself, but in the reputation of the person who created it. 'Big-name' artists set their prices at a high level, but 'no-name' artists must be content with whatever they can get ...

But after the purchase, does one get more pleasure from a work of art that cost 2,000,000 than from one that cost 20,000? I don't think so. If you spend more money when buying a house, at least you get more space; when buying a computer, you get more speed and memory; when buying dinner, more or tastier food; but when buying a picture ...?

Can those 'big-name' artists really be happy with this system? As an inevitable consequence of the high prices on their work, their only customers are those people buying as an investment, not because they like what they see. What artist could possibly feel pleased by this? He might as well be working as a broker in the stock market, selling shares.

Luckily for me, being a 'no-name', I have no such problem. How do you think I will feel about this if I ever become a 'big-name'?