Book Review

Review: The $12 Million Stuffed Shark

I love going to art galleries and museums, but sometimes I do feel truly baffled by some contemporary art. However, when my best friend found this book and suggested I give it a read, I found that it started to make a bit more sense. I think art lovers and those still on the fence will both enjoy The $12 Million Stuffed Shark: The Curious Economics of Contemporary Art by Don Thompson

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There was something really mesmerizing about this book. I think it was just fascinating to learn more about the business side of art which deals with people who are able to spend more on a piece of art than I will probably earn in my entire life. The book deals a lot with the difference of cost and worth and shows how marketing and jealousy can really work to a an artist’s advantage when selling art.

I can’t say that I will enjoy contemporary art more after reading this book, but I do have more of an understanding and appreciation for it on the whole.

 

Book Review

Book Review: The Art Forger

Title: The Art Forger

Author: Barbara A. Shapiro

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Quick Takeaway: I read this for a book club that I lead for the library. While it did meander at times, I enjoyed it overall and we were able to have a great discussion for our book club.

Who Should Read This? This is a great read for art lovers and those looking for a mystery that focuses more on character than plot.

Review: While this is a mystery, it is not very traditional. I absolutely love mysteries, but I was much less interested in the mystery aspects of this book than I was the central characters. The main character Claire, a professional art forger whose career is legally forging famous art for commercial purposes, is commissioned to forge a famous stolen painting. The circumstances under which she is asked to perform this task are suspect, but she finds herself falling for the enigmatic art dealer Aiden Markel  who may not be as he seems.

I really enjoyed the character of Claire. She was sympathetic and she was really put through a lot of relatable tragedies. She is a very talented artist, but she has a terrible reputation in the art world, and she struggles to overcome the decisions she’s made.

I also really enjoyed learning more about the process of painting, especially the process of forgery. I’ve dabbled in abstract painting but only as a hobby, so I felt like this was a really interesting learning experience about the world of art, especially classic art.

Final Thoughts: I don’t think this book will appeal to everyone. If someone loves a good traditional mystery and has little interest in learning about the creation of art, this may be a bit of a letdown. However, if you’re more interested in character and you’re fascinated by art, go ahead and give this one a try!