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Best Way To Suck All the Joy and Humanity Out of Art


Do you like art but wish collecting it was more like buying tranches of a mortgage-backed security? Then Arthena might just be for you. Described by its founder as a mutual fund for art investment, the Soho-based start-up allows investors to buy a share of a selected portfolio of works; as those works increase in value, they get a cut of the profits. As Business Insider explained last year, the stodgy, old-fashioned way to buy art was to “plunk down money to buy a painting, then you own a painting.” But Arthena is art investing for the New Millennium! You don’t actually own any art. You don’t get to look at the art. You don’t get to touch the art. The art, in fact, remains safely in a climate-controlled fine-art storage facility. And Arthena isn’t some stuffy scheme only for the one percent, either; they’re proud to say their mission is to do nothing less than “democratize” art investing. To that end, the service is open to any “accredited investor,” as defined by the Securities and Exchange Commission. That means almost anyone — with at least a $200,000 annual salary or assets over $1 million, that is. What a time to be alive.