"Why would a very smart New York investment banker pay $12 million for the decaying, stuffed carcass of a shark? By what alchemy does Jackson Pollock's drip painting No. 5, 1948 sell for $140 million? And why does a leather jacket with silver chain attached, tossed in a corner and titled 'No-One Ever Leaves', bring $690,000 at a 2007 Sotheby's auction?" "This intriguing and entertaining book is the first to look at the economics of the modern art world and the marketing strategies which power the market to produce such astronomical prices for the latest Hirst, Koons or Emin. Don Thompson talks to auction houses, dealers and collectors, and reveals the psychology behind the art market, showing how far it is driven by lust and self-aggrandizement of possession. It is a world, the author shows, in which brand is all-important, and which in many ways has most in common with the branded world of luxury fashion. The result is a fascinating, shrewd and highly readable insight into a modern-day phenomenon. In contemporary art, you are nobody until somebody brands you."--BOOK JACKET.