The art dealer Larry Salander whose gallery Salander-O'Reilly was shut down due to allegations of financial improprieties is quoted as saying, "Our society now values a Warhol for three times as much money as a great Rembrandt." Further, "That tells me that we're fucked. It's as if people would rather fuck than make love."
Thanks to The Atlantic, here's a quote: I don't have a lot of sympathy for those who bemoan contemporary art and seek a return to the old-masters. Appreciating formalism is one thing; crusading against contemporary art in order to correct an alleged cultural imbalance is something else entirely. When you buy a piece of art from a living artist you are funding her next project; you are allowing her to continue with her work. What does it matter to Rembrandt how much his painting sells for?
I SECOND THE MOTION, with this caveat, Warhol endowed a foundation that does good work: The Foundation's objective is to foster innovative artistic expression and the creative process by encouraging and supporting cultural organizations that in turn, directly or indirectly, support artists and their work. The Foundation values the contribution these organizations make to artists and audiences and to society as a whole by supporting, exhibiting and interpreting a broad spectrum of contemporary artistic practice. http://www.warholfoundation.org/
So buy contemporary art from living artists or from the recently deceased, you'll be funding our next projects, helping us pay our studio rent, or supporting our heirs and heiresses.