Fine art is a cultural treasure that enriches our lives, expands our perspectives, and inspires us to contemplate the profound mysteries of existence. Yet, for far too long, the beauty and value of fine art have been accessible only to the ultra-wealthy, perpetuating a glaring injustice that limits the human potential for creativity and expression.

The numbers are stark: in 2019, the top 1% of art collectors accounted for 64% of the $13.3 billion global auction market (2020 Art Basel and UBS Global Art Market Report). Meanwhile, millions of ordinary people are excluded from this vital aspect of human culture due to the high cost of art, which is mostly consumed by wealthy collectors who view art as a luxury commodity rather than an essential expression of human creativity.

This state of affairs is not only deeply unfair, but it also undermines the fundamental values of a democratic society. Art is a universal language that speaks to the human experience, regardless of one's background or socioeconomic status. It is a means of communication that transcends borders and bridges cultural divides. However, when art becomes a tool of exclusion and elitism, it loses its ability to bring people together and foster understanding.

Moreover, the inaccessibility of fine art perpetuates a vicious cycle of inequality, where only those with the means to access this important cultural capital can accumulate more of it. This reinforces existing power structures and limits social mobility, as those who are excluded from the world of fine art are denied the opportunity to engage with the broader cultural and social networks that come with it.

As philosopher Martha Nussbaum has argued, art is essential to human flourishing. It allows us to imagine and aspire to a better world. When art is only accessible to the ultra-wealthy, this potential for human flourishing is stunted, and we are all worse off for it.

The solution to this problem is not to devalue art or simply reclaim it and make it available to everyone for free. Rather, we must make it easier for broader audiences - regardless of their financial means - to view and invest in the art in a meaningful way. We should be pulling art off of the dusty walls of old mansions and delivering it to the people to own collectively - something that will not only equalize the financial playing field, but also allow for true human connections around communities of collectors.

It's time to unlock art's full potential to enrich our lives and expand our horizons. We can create a more just and equitable society that distributes items of cultural significance to all, not just the ultra-wealthy. This is a fundamental aspect of our humanity. It's time to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to experience its transformative power - even if in some small sense.