Russian artist Petro Wodkins may have created the most interesting and potentially damaging documentary about the art world that we've seen in a while. Wodkins was determined to find out the "real price of art" beyond the asking prices, so he created a fake identity as a luxury consultant and set up meetings at prominent London galleries including Lisson Gallery, Hauser & Wirth, and Blain Southern. In the meetings, Wodkins attempted to make deals for very expensive works as a proxy for President Rahmon, the dictator of Tajikistan who is a well-known tyrant to the people of that country.
The footage that Wodkins recorded of his private meetings and phone calls reveal that this scenario is one that many art galleries are accustomed to. He explains that the purchases would be to soften the public's perception of the terrible Rahmon, and the galleries seem to be all for it, even if it means accepting money from off-shore accounts. Watch the short film below, it may change the way you think of the art world completely or reaffirm what you already thought: