The process of commercialization of art is often referred to as “monetization,” denoting the use of art as an investment class. I discuss the reverse mechanism, defined as “Monet-ization,” where investment is overlaid with artistic value, and unproven art is imbued with aesthetic qualities. This mechanism is derived from a historical overview of key periods in the history of art, such as the flourishing of new genres in early 17th century Dutch art and the rise of Modern art in the early 20th century. An analysis of original data on the leading art collectors in the world in the period 1990–2015 highlights the tendency for collectors with an “investor” profile and eclectic taste to buy contemporary art. Combining artworks from diverse periods and styles, eclectic personal collections contribute to the conversion of economic into aesthetic value by way of spill-overs across genres and to the attribution by association of “old” value to “new” art. The “Monet-ization” process helps elucidate how paradigm shifts occur in the art world and how innovation survives under conditions of insufficient demand. Link to the article
SGOUREV, S. (2018). Strange Bedfellows: Art and Finance or the Monet-ization of Art. Research in the Sociology of Organizations, 55(1), pp. 73-101.