The Australian says the Aboriginal Art market is over, strangled by regulations, the passing of a generation of masters and changes in investment rules. But they’re own numbers (see chart below) show a market that struggled to maintain a level around A$10m and may still climb closer through the remainder of the year:
“The market’s not exactly dead,” says prominent Brisbane indigenous art gallery owner Suzanne O’Connell, “but it’s certainly ailing. It’s in need of a considerable blood transfusion, and fast. A handful of big-name artists are still selling, but buyers are bargain-hunters now.”
According to figures compiled by Australian Art Sales Digest, total sales of Aboriginal art at auctions in Australia soared from less than $1 million in 1994 to a peak of $23.9m in 2007. As the financial crisis struck, sales crashed to $11.7m in 2008 and $10.9m last year. This year, just $5.7m worth of Aboriginal art has been auctioned.
Art Market Gets Ugly as Indigenous Bubble Bursts (The Australian)