Stellar contemporary art is created daily, but how much work is illuminated to the masses with proper merit?

The Knockturnal conversed with the art world’s elite on the red carpet of the Museum of Modern Art to hear their thoughts on the state of art culture, at the premiere of The Price of Everything The film is meant to grant, “unprecedented access to pivotal artists and the white-hot market surrounding them.” Our journey with the featured curators and the director of The Price of Everything offered us a glimpse at cutthroat politics, wealth, and budding ambitions. HBO dives deep into the contemporary art world, holding a mirror up to our values and our times — where everything can be bought and sold.

Become acquainted with the film’s art influencers in their own words.

-Photo by: Dave Allocca/StarPix

The Knockturnal: How do you feel about this Oscar Wilde quote? “The cynic knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.”

Amy Cappellazzo: I think it is very true. Even though I know the price of lots of things, I hope I still very much see the value in many things. My heart is with works of art. I love art. I love this and the creative process. I feel lucky to be a part of this world.

The Knockturnal: What advice do you have for young women who aspire to begin to navigate throughout this world?

Amy Cappellazzo: You need to believe in yourself. Believe in your opinions and what you know. Be an authority of what you know.

The Knockturnal: How do you believe the sale and resale of work by living artists and artists who’ve recently passed should be handled?

Amy Cappellazzo: I think when you make a work of art, you put it out in the world and it gets bought… it may be traded or purchased by someone other than the initial buyer. Things move around. As an artist, you probably hope your works end up in some permanent place. Examples of that are an institution, a foundation or a museum. You hope they are in a place where they can be seen or appreciated by large audiences. The market kind of takes care of itself. Great pieces usually find their way to places like this, the Museum of Modern Art.

-Photo by: Dave Allocca/StarPix

The Knockturnal: What are your thoughts on The Price of Everything?

Larry Poons: It is a real film. This will spread itself out over many different levels and moments within the art world. The film captures this intentionally and sometimes unintentionally. It gets really dynamic. You see both visual and oral aspects. The people are photographed beautifully. Everyone looks kind of randomly singular. If you see the movie more than once, it surprises you how different it is each time.

The Knockturnal: How do you feel this film will be transformative for art in 2018?

Lois Robbins: Well, The Price of Everything will be certainly useful for new collectors. I believe seasoned art collectors will enjoy it, too. Either way, this is a wonderful opportunity to see what makes great art. Also, this film shows how the masses perceive art.

It should make a lot of people think about when to collect and what to collect. Timeliness is important. Additionally, everyone tells me, ” you have to buy the best of a certain artist.” So, this film is a good window, and lesson on the ins and outs of that. It really feels like viewers are going to school.

-Photo by: Dave Allocca/StarPix

The Knockturnal: Do you feel like The Price of Everything gives an accurate representation of the art market.

Marilyn Minter: Yes, I thought it was accurate. That truly does not have anything to do with the art. It is all about the art market. If an artist becomes a big success after they are dead, it is really too bad. You know? It happens all the time to artists. For example, I love how Philip Guston had a few years before he died. He enjoyed a few years of fame. He was able to make some money. It is heartbreaking that some great artist struggle so hard, [then they pass and are appreciated].

The Knockturnal: Overall, how do you believe women have moved the needle forward?

Marilyn Minter: Well, now women are! They have the opportunity to grow in 2018. Every time a woman has a museum show, she just gets better.

The Knockturnal: What made you want to become involved with this film when you were asked?

George Condo: I was excited to be apart of the section of the film that has to do with the artist process. It shows those tinks that all of us have as artists. Also, having seen Nathaniel Kahn’s first documentary, I thought this would most likely be a beautiful movie.

The Knockturnal: What are your thoughts on contemporary art at present?

George Condo: I think it is really great. Now, it is so inclusive and diverse. It has become so much more expansive, in the sense that [it is not fixated on] what the contemporary art world used to be so focused on. It used to be focused on the selling artists, what the work sold for, who did this, and who did that — now it embraces so many different cultures and kinds of art. It has become a lot more interesting.

The Knockturnal: What would you tell a newcomer who hopes to build an empire like yours?

George Condo: Don’t think of it as an art world. Think of your studio as the art world. Think of your painting as the art world. Think of your philosophical incantations as the art world. We can’t think of the art world as a thing. You have to think of your art; otherwise, you won’t even be part of it.

-Photo by: Dave Allocca/StarPix

The Knockturnal: How do you feel your film is a gift to contemporary art?

Nathaniel Kahn: Ultimately, my hope is that it is a film shows the crisis in the values that we have right now within the art world. I question, “What kind of world do we want to live in?” My feeling is that we need to stop thinking about the price of things and start thinking about the value of things. And, art has intrinsic value that transcends the money.

You see that view in the artists portrayed in this film. They are all in their own way driven by the desire to connect with each other and us. That is what art is all about. So, when money gets a hold of it, and it becomes too much about the price of things, we lose sight of what art really is. Art is about communicating fundamentally what it is to be human.

So, the film is not judgemental. I am not looking for the good guys and the bad guys. I am looking to create a film that somehow helps to portray where we are right now in our culture. This is a snapshot where we are right now. Art is always showing us a snapshot of where we are. So, even that fact that artists are being commodified, that is the world we live in right now.

It is very exciting to be able to have a film like this, out there in the world. It is on HBO, and in theaters, where it can start a dialogue between us. We can really begin to talk about these issues of where we are as a civilization. Ultimately, we are a global world. There is art being made everywhere. This is a tiny slice of the super high-end world. Nevertheless, there is art being made everywhere. Marvelous art!

So, remember, as a person you can go to a museum and get great gifts just by looking. You don’t have to own it. You can engage with artists who have shows on the street. Walk into a gallery. Trust your own eyes. Don’t look at the prices. Find what you love, and what you care about. To me, that is what this film has given me — a sense of being able to open my eyes and see what is out there. I realized the price of something is not the same as the value of it.

By Bianca Alysse Mercado for

About The Author

Bianca Alysse is a creatively driven Bronx-born writer and editor. Before becoming The Knockturnal‘s music editor she served as Latina‘s creative coordinator and was a contributor at Billboard. The Boricua scribe has a lengthy resume in the music industry and has penned for Universal Music Publishing Group, Epic Records, G.O.O.D. Music, Compound Entertainment, Artistry & Récords, and Arcade Creative Group. Her work has been seen on platforms like VIBE, mitú, TIDAL, Remezcla, and behind the scenes at New York Fashion Week. As an independent contractor, she has written for Sony Music Entertainment’s global business affairs department, Warner Music Group, and currently Roc Nation.

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