“The Price of Everything” explores how art became an “asset class”

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Jeff Koons and a painting from his “Gazing Ball” series. Photo courtesy of “The Price of Everything”

Nathaniel Kahn's highly regarded first documentary “My Architect” tracked his quest to understand his blood father Louis Kahn, the famed American architect who maintained three families.

Now he's taken on art and money. “The Price of Everything,” opening Friday, Oct. 26 at the Laemmle Music Hall in Los Angeles, follows a fascinating medley of artists, collectors, auctioneers, curators and investors in a quest to understand how art became an "asset class" and what that means for art and society.

That artists can now be played with like poker chips, says Kahn, “seemed not only fascinating to me but also terrifying to me. So something which is fascinating and terrifying is... definitely a good thing to make a movie about.”

In a conversation illustrated with clips from art dealer Gavin Brown, art historian Barbara Rose, painter Larry Poons, Amy Cappellazzo (Chairman of the Fine Art division of Sotheby’s) and collector Stefan Edlis, Kahn talks to DnA about why he made the film, about LA's role in the art world ("unbelievably exciting for young artists"), and about the importance for emerging artists, like LA-based Njideka Akunyili Crosby, of putting aside market considerations “or it'll kill you.”

He also addresses Banksy's recent stunt -- shredding an artwork when the gavel fell on $1.4 million, saying "it is a commentary on everything we're talking about."