Georgina Adam predicts a buying binge at the very top end of the art market in 2013. Her prediction is not that buying will accelerate but that it won’t slow down from the un-expected levels of 2012. Why? Well, it’s the growing recognition of a theme we’ve been discussing for several years. There’s a global elite that has benefited dis-proporationately from the technology boom and globalization who are forming into a class with common cultural touchstones (this last bit is important and often gets left out of the argument.)
This global group buys art for a lot of reasons. Status is one; participation in the floating social scene that is the global art market, is another; and marking the place for posterity is the third. Achieving the last often requires building an edifice like a museum. Here’s Adam on why the very top of the market will be supported by the demand of these new and prospective museums:
the building of so many museums across the world will sustain buying. Although the reported “1,000 museums” in China may prove an exaggeration, many are under construction and are being stocked with works of art. Elsewhere, the Abu Dhabi Guggenheim is back on track (or at least the authorities in the emirate are anxious to tell us that this is the case). The Middle East, with its huge resources, wants to establish itself as a cultural hub on a par with other, more established centres. And billionaires’ “vanity museums”—sometimes an unfair criticism—need to buy top works of art as well.
What’s In Store for the Market? (The Art Newspaper)