What is More Important Life or Art?

Marilyn Minter

The Documentary The Price of Everything intersects with Berger’s Way’s of Seeing with the viewpoint that art should be more than just a number with a dollar sign next to it. It should be about the aesthetic, and provide a feeling that was once absent. To further investigate the meaning behind art Berger argues that “The way we see things is affected by what we know or what we believe.”, and throughout the Documentary we see many of the artist’s arguing that the “work of art is not the artist, but the artist is the work of art”.

Marilyn Minter

To what extent should art be held ethically accountable?

Art should be held ethically accountable to the extent that one should not have to question the emotions ones art will inflict on it’s viewers. However, when it comes to art there is no boundary or code of ethics for an artist to follow. There is no right or wrong in what they are producing, the vision is completely theirs. Yet, the meaning behind the art is completely interpreted by the viewer. This freedom allows the artist to push boundaries. Art has its own way of opening up new ideas and beliefs. The artist and their work have the capability to impact their viewers as role models, either positively or negatively.

To what extent should art and capital be encouraged to co-mingle?

For this I can only answer in quote from the documentary The Price of Everything. And that is this “There are a lot of people who know the price of everything, and the value of nothing”. The capital of art shouldn’t revolve around “How much can we sell this piece of art for?” rather that it should revolve around the value of the art produced by the artist. A piece of art can be one black line down a white canvas and still have more value and meaning than A Starry Night by Vincent Van Gogh. However, capital revolves majority of the time around the artist creating the art than the art itself. Like the documentary stated, it’s a brand deal.

Marilyn Minter

Finally, I don’t disagree that art should be more than just a number with a dollar sign next to it. My position of this translates to the opinions I have stated above by explaining that art is supposed to be about how it makes you feel, not about the money you can spend collecting it. I think it is also important to note that in the documentary one artist states that he wishes his art would go into a museum, because it would have more purpose on a wall there, than in the home of some private art collector. Another thing that I noted while watching the documentary was this; “To be an effective collector, deep down you have to be shallow.” with respect to this argument, I do believe that art will always have the most value in a museum, rather than a home of a private collector.



  1. zeldalov364 says:

    I agree with you that the value of art should be more than just a dollar sign. Theres much more that goes into art when it comes to value and meaning, but the documentary made it feel like its all been reduced to profit and market value. I like how you said art should be about aesthetic and the ability to make someone feel something new! When i was watching the documentary i felt like some of the people buying these pieces tried to pretend like they had some sort of special connection to the art, but honestly i felt like if the price tag was much lower they wouldn’t look twice at those paintings. It was all about the money and satus.


    1. blakeslade97 says:

      Art should have value based on the art itself, not as if it were a brand deal as you said. It should have meaning, more than just the amount that its worth, or who it was by, but a message, or a challenge that should be provocative. I also agree with you that art should go in a museum, but also in other places where it can be viewed and enjoyed, not in some collectors apartment in New York where it is hidden away until it gets sold to some other private collector.


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