The Economic Times warns that the supposed recovery in the art market has come too quickly to correct profligate and irrational behavior among collectors:
Consider that it was only a year ago that even works by the beloved Progressive Modernists were available for a steal at auction ; consider that the majority of Contemporary artists who were thought desirable when the going was good, are a tough sell today in both primary and secondary markets ; consider that there has been no trickle down effect to emerging art forms. A topheavy market may generate headlines, but it doesn’t speak for 99% of the market, which still needs its own adrenaline shot.
Semantics merely holds symbolic, not real, value. As much as the auction houses claim that collectors are buying and speculators are out; the truth is everyone, no matter what their net worth or disposable income levels, is buying to invest. Today, the art that sells has to be of the investible worthiness of real estate and gold to summon up buyer excitement . While that’s good news for Traditional and Modern art, which is finally getting its due, it doesn’t bode well for present and future art practitioners for whom the support infrastructure has contracted considerably . […]
Unarguably, the major auction houses have injected the much-needed optimism back into the art market, which was looking listless even at the start of the year. The highly successful model of art auctions as mini-theatre fabricated by Christie’s and Sotheby’s and adapted by India’s Saffronart to its online platform is hugely entertaining and it delivers results. Art history has never been more compelling. The story is one of desire; of promise and regret on a battlefield of gigantic egos coupled with huge sums of money. The art works that line the walls like rarefied gems are the auctioneer’s willing props.
Together, with an avid audience of affluent buyers, they overture history . Records are shattered one after the other. The press offices declare even minor records as major victories; forget about the past is what they want to tell us.
Are Soaring Art Prices Creating Another Bubble? (Economic Times)