Art is now, above all, purchasable – and this commodification is apocalyptic in precisely the opposite way of the exposition. In the classic exposition we displayed objects as a means to celebrate the possible future or the material potential of the present. In the gallery, as in the auction house, we still celebrate exorbitant sales as an expression of apocalyptic insecurity, but the only recapitulation here is the affirmation of purchasing power – of the current and future investment prospects of Basquiat, of a world possibly without materials, of a world entirely composed of capital. There is no celebration of aesthetic or material potential, or a celebration of possible advance, only the grotesque spectacle of meaningless wealth reinforcing itself – the market hollowing out and infecting one of our last bastions against the market’s pull.
The Big Basquiat Sale Is Art’s Capitalist Apocalypse