11/15/2013 04:46 pm ET Updated Nov 17, 2013

Ballooning Art Prices Become 'Competitions Over Whose Penis Is Larger'

A massive three-part painting by Francis Bacon sold for $142 million this week, prompting a deluge of art market speculation. Is the art market heading to heights we've never seen before? Or are sky-rocketing prices a sign of darker times to come?

Our friends at Huff Post Live gathered a few art world-ers together in one room to chat about the Bacon phenomenon and what the sale says about money in the art market. Thomas Galbraith from the online auction company Paddle8, critic Paddy Johnson from Art F City, art history professor and writer John Seed, and Felix Salmon, a finance blogger from Reuters discussed and argued the merits of aesthetics, the role of the behemoth auction house and how hype plays into rising prices.

"It's become a bit of a pissing contest between a certain group of people," Galbraith notably points out. "And that specific group of people has seen a phenomenal amount of wealth redirected to them over the past five years, so you end up with this crazy situation. However, this crazy situation is still surrounding particularly exemplary works of art."

Watch the video above for a taste of art market analysis, or watch the entire segment here. Let us know your thoughts on the future of art sales in the comments.



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