The Economist piles on top of the art-market-must-crash scrum with more of the same chicken little analysis. (NB: No one has a brief for the art market’s health but until we read something interesting, we would prefer to look at real prices and selling patterns.) But someone has taken the time to write a long and thoughtful refutation of The Economist’s facts and reasoning:
“Both houses reported great successes in their day sales for individual lots and in general. The great works will always do well, the shift that seems to be ahead, is that works that should have never been traded in the first place will slowly fall out of the overflowing sales catalogues. Not a bad thing!”
It seems that the financial markets are slow to develop faith in the art market, meanwhile the fund and asset managers fuel it.
The best sale in Sotheby’s history, the evening sale of May 14th set records for 17 of the 54 artists represented at auction. I believe that figure alone accounts for the success and advances in the breadth and depth of the market.
This article seems to ignore the very claims it makes.”
TheStreet.com made it’s name as stockpicking site. Now Lauren Tara LaCapra is peddling advice about the art market. Nothing of any particular interest here except Michael Moses suggesting historical patterns leave room for a further 20% rise in the art market. Twenty percent of what, isn’t made clear.
Also, beware the new meme–quoted here–from Art Tactic that uses selling prices in relation to estimates as a measure of the art market’s health: “more than half of the lots sold in the contemporary evening sales sold below the average estimate.”
It isn’t clear what that information tells you when sellers have been getting estimates that begin at record prices. For those who were at the sales, did anyone notice that many works either didn’t have reserves or the reserves were very low? A number of lots sold for substantially lower than the low estimate? And, if that is a trend, what could it mean? Desperation? Or that buyers had made so much profit they were happy with any price?