Bloomberg’s Scott Reyburn talks to former Wella Chairman and obsessive collector Thomas Olbricht about art as an asset class:
He dismisses fears about the art-market crash of 2008-9, when the price of contemporary works fell as much as 50 percent.
“Not all artists went down by that much,” he says. “Then they went back up faster than the normal financial markets.”
He points out that the pool of buyers for contemporary art has expanded massively since when he first started collecting.
“There are probably now 3,000 or 4,000 people who are prepared to give at least $2 million for art,” he says. “It’s spread from America to Europe to India, China, Turkey and Indonesia. There are so many newly rich families with no tradition of collecting. They have no idea about Old Masters, and so they buy contemporary.” […]
What should someone with $50 million to spend be looking for?
“If you want to make an investment, look for contemporary Chinese abstracts because this market is just coming up and they’re cheap,” says Olbricht. “Then there’s Gerhard Richter, Sigmar Polke and Anselm Kiefer. You won’t lose money on them.”