Just when you thought both the complaining and the insanity of the art market was confined to the three major sales centers, comes this report from South Africa. Equal parts nasty cynicism and cold-eye realism, it does show you the wealth effect on the art market is being felt world over. Quotes after the jump.
In SA the art market also continues to boil away despite an economy under severe strain.
Experts have tried to explain art’s continued attraction to wealthy buyers with convoluted economic explanations — none of which apply here.
Art is an asset class all on its own. Art has no tangible value per se. Value is determined by emotion and a work is worth only what someone can convince you it is worth. There is no price one can put on a seminal “mine is better than yours” work. It does not matter whether the price resembles a telephone number, as long as your number is bigger and you get to take home the work at the end of the evening.
Will the market eventually crash? Undoubtedly. When art patrons lose interest and the endless stream of rich buyers finally dries up, it will crash. Whether it will have anything to do with the current economic woes, though, is debatable.