Ever since critic and theorist Walter Benjamin penned his landmark essay in 1936, it’s been accepted as a kind of common wisdom that the aura of the artwork has withered in the (never-ending) age of mechanical reproduction. But a new study suggests the aura hasn’t vanished entirely yet, and perhaps it never will.
It’s common wisdom by now that the art market system thrives on brand-name, star-driven principles: individuals sell, groups not so much (and this despite the fact that many individuals don’t make their art alone). But why? Do we really think solo artists make more valuable work than collectives?