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Reviewed by Jamie Michele for Readers' Favorite
The Black Market by Charles Moore is a non-fiction self-help novice's guide to the world of art collection. Moore homes in on the African-American art market and begins with a brief history of art's accessibility followed by the next steps for those who are interested in building a collection that has both the ability to move a buyer emotionally and the ability to serve the buyer well as an investment. Moore breaks down the stories of individual artists and collectors, their contributions, motivations, impact, and drives, such as collector Elan Nieves, who says, “The Met felt like home, and I knew from an early age I would buy pieces of my own.” Moore also covers the technical and practical aspects of buying and selling, including insurance, transport, and auctions, among many other things.
There's no question that for most people, even the idea of art collecting is intimidating. This applies to lovers of art and those who have little more than a passing interest, which is exactly why The Black Market and what Charles Moore details are so very important. I happen to live in a country now where art galleries are free to enter as it is believed these works belong to everyone but felt pulled back as he outlined why gallery memberships are worth their dues and clarified for me why they can often be so inaccessible. It was also interesting to read about Art Basel which I've heard so much about but never really looked into. It's rare to feel excited about a discovery these days when everything can be tapped with instant gratification and the world has gotten so small we can communicate with anyone, anywhere, at any time. But in art, we have this connection to what is, what was, and what is to come. It shifts and evolves constantly, and knowing it's entirely within reach? Now that's exciting.