A monstrous anomaly...

Meyer Shapiro

"From an economic viewpoint the art of painting is a monstrous anomaly. Of a thousand paintings made in a given period, perhaps fifty will be sold. Of the fifty painters who produce them, perhaps no more than ten sell more than two pictures in this period. And yet, despite the great supply, the cost of paintings tends steadily to increase, and what is more astonishing, the number of painters also increases. These men * create objects for which they have no market, no orders. They create from a necessity that is not economic, yet they hope to live by their creations. And with this peculiar impracticality, this isolation from ordinary social principles, these producers are intensely proud, self-assured, and feel superior to the producers of merely marketable goods."

* written in 1957

Schapiro, M. (1999). Worldview in Painting- Art and Society. New York, NY: George Braziller, Inc. p. 196