by Vanda Lavar
Could the Art World be Rigged?
Many influential thinkers such as the founder of “The Art Renewal Center,” Fred Ross are propounding “yes” to this question. Even more, Artist Robert Cendella, is in a nut shell stating that the art world is both rigged and unregulated, in what amounts to be an unlawful trust.
In United Sates District Court, Southern District of New York, Cenedella filed suit in case number: 18-cu-1029, alleging the existence of a “Museum Cartel,” which is manipulating the contemporary art market and engaging in an unlawful conspiracy. The lawsuit charges the Whitney Museum, the Guggenheim Museum, the Museum of Modern Art and even the Metropolitan Museum of Art with excluding not only Cenedella, but “innumerable other deserving artists,” while at the same time driving up the value of works in their own collections.
As an Artist myself, I must ask the profound question, could Cenedella be right? And further, why is it that the laborious hours artists devote to their trade are deemed not to fall under the labor and antitrust laws?
Kudos to Cenedella, whose attorney Robert Hantman stated: “Our client is looking to make it an even playing field for all artists,” according to the webzine Hyperallergic.
Hantman also stated that, “they(museums) should be seen as trusts, just like Standard Oil or the American Tobacco Company. It appears that there’s an arrangement between the museums and the galleries — to artificially increase the cost of artworks from artists who have relationships to the galleries and the museums.”
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, which is the first defendant named in the lawsuit by Cenedella, declined to comment.
We as Americans can take control of this situation via our buying power and by a proper and thorough education in the arts. Art has power, it was and still remains our first alphabet.
Sr. Art Director, Fine Arts School in the Pines