The Economist has a full package of stories on the state of the art market just in time for ArtBasel Miami Beach. We’ll have more posts about some of the various stories this week. In the meantime, here are some interesting data points from the opening essay of the report (all bullet points are quotes):
- During the boom the number of wealthy people in Russia, India, China and the Middle East rose rapidly. In 2003 Sotheby’s biggest buyers—those who purchased lots costing at least $500,000—came from 36 countries. By 2007 they were spread over 58 countries and their total number had tripled.
- Part of the extra demand has come from a large increase in the number of museums. Over the past 25 years more than 100 have been built, not only in America and Europe but also in the sheikhdoms of the Persian Gulf and the fast-growing cities in Asia; sometimes in partnership with Western institutions, such as the Guggenheim or the Louvre, sometimes on their own. Many of these institutions have made their mark by buying contemporary art.
- Philippe Ségalot […] was behind one of the biggest deals involving a single work of art, the private sale of Warhol’s 1963 painting, “Eight Elvises”, to an anonymous buyer for over $100m.
- At its peak in 2007 it was worth some $65 billion, reckons Clare McAndrew, founder of Arts Economics, a research firm—double the figure five years earlier. Since then it may have come down to $50 billion.
Suspended Animation (Economist)