Will Art Continue to Be a Reserve Currency in 2016, Gilles Dyan Is Banking On It

As markets continue to roil with fears over falling asset prices and pervasive global weakness, the question emerges of where the wealthy will store the excess cash they have generated in the last year or two.

Most financial instruments have clouds around them. Since art is denominated in dollars and there are persistent fears that the dollar will continue to appreciate, there’s a good chance 2016 will see more buyers from emerging markets convert their cash into art.

That’s pretty much the message of Gilles Dyan who operates a global network of galleries:

The Opera Gallery, with 11 gallery branches worldwide, enjoyed a 7 percent growth in overall global art sales thanks to the growing number of private collectors from emerging economies. The Opera Gallery has operations in major cities, including New York, London, Paris, Geneva, Monaco, Dubai, Singapore and Seoul, and a new one is due to open in Aspen, Colorado, next month.

“Before, the market was essentially centered in the U.S. and Japan. Now people are buying art from everywhere — from China, India, Kazakhstan, Ukraine and many other emerging countries,” Dyan said.

When the economy slows down, the rich turn to art to diversify their investments beyond stocks and bonds, Dyan explained.

“With art, when you choose the right painting and pay the right price, it is the best investment. If you compare 50 years of stock markets, gold and commodities with art, art always brings better returns than other investments,” Dyan said.

“The year 2015 was a very good year. I am also confident with 2016. Even if the economy is not so good in China, Russia and in the Middle East. Now many people know that art is a very safe investment.”

Dyan also revealed expansion plans for his gallery. He is preparing to open a new gallery in Doha at the end of next year and another in Taipei in two years.

‘Art is a safe investment’ (Korean Herald)