[intro]Christie’s Dolman Says Speculators Pay in Cash[/intro]
Godfrey Barker, the curmudgeonly London critic for The Evening Standard, asks the pertinent question in the wake of Contemporary art’s surprising strength. Are the strong prices for Doig and the relatively strong prices for Hirst and Prince who still have buyers, let alone Koons and Warhol, signs of continuing speculation in Contemporary art?
Was it speculation? Many buyers see the 50-year-old Doig as the successor to Lucian Freud, David Hockney and Francis Bacon at the high-priced end of contemporary British painting and thus a sure bet.
“Speculation is alive and well,” said Ed Dolman, Christie’s chief executive. “But in 2009 speculators pay in cash. They are not borrowing to buy. This market is liquid.”
Those who looked on Damien Hirst as a speculators’ bubble certain to burst were surprised when four spot, spin and butterfly pictures at the two auction houses sold at prices up to £657,250.
Hirst’s £111million bonanza at Sotheby’s last September marked the peak of the 2008 contemporary art market and buyers predicted that Hirst prices had only one way to go: down. Instead, Teflon-coated Damien carries on.
Art Buyers Put Their Money on Doig as the Next Hockney (This Is London)