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The Artsy Podcast, No. 53: Is the Art Market Irrational?

Artsy Editorial
Oct 26, 2017 9:55PM

You can find the Artsy Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Pocket Casts, or the podcasting app of your choice. Don’t forget to rate the show and leave us comments; we’d love to hear from you.


Who decides how much an artwork is worth? And is that price tag rational? On this episode, we’re joined by economist Don Thompson, whose latest book The Orange Balloon Dog explores the inner workings of the contemporary art market. From Jeff Koons’s monumental sculpture that set auction records in 2013 to the upcoming sale of Leonardo da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi, we discuss how the massive sums paid for artworks are determined across auction houses, art fairs, and private deals.


This podcast is hosted by Artsy Associate Editor Isaac Kaplan, joined for this edition by Executive Editor Alex Forbes and author and economist Don Thompson. It was produced by Associate Editor Abigail Cain.

Intro music: “Something Elated” by Broke For Free

Cover image: Photo by Mary Turner, via Getty Images.

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Jenna Gribbon, Luncheon on the grass, a recurring dream, 2020. Jenna Gribbon, April studio, parting glance, 2021. Jenna Gribbon, Silver Tongue, 2019