Video

An art fair through the eyes of Tagsmart Certify artist Idris Khan

It’s not often that you’ll find a world-renowned artist roaming the halls of an international art fair. But for Idris Khan, the experience can be enriching.

“Art fairs are necessarily not for artists,” says Khan, whose work combines painting, photography and sculpture.

“What it does is it opens art to the masses a lot more. Not everyone goes to museums, not everyone can go and buy in galleries, so I think it opens up people’s minds in a much more global way.”

Is a dead shark in a tank really worth millions of dollars? Art, like beauty, is often in the eye of the beholder—but Damien Hirst’s infamous 1991 work, The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living, fetched a reported US$12 million for reasons aside from its creative merit. In the video above, Vox breaks down the economics behind high-profile art market sales, and explains why an art dealer’s reputation is sometimes just as important (if not more so) than a work’s creator.