The Wall Street Journal tries to come up with a counter-intuitive commentary on the art market suggesting that there are buyers who are market leading contrarians. Although that’s certainly true, the collectors profiled are too idiosyncratic to support the paper’s thesis that these collectors will point to areas that are undervalued. The story is further marred by this backward assertion:
This marketplace is riddled with idiosyncrasies, but the moves of a few name-brand collectors can influence art values around the world. Prices for Alberto Giacometti’s skeletal sculptures rocketed last year after London billionaire Lily Safra paid a record $104.3 million for his 1961 bronze “Walking Man I.”
The Walking Man sale was the culmination of a run-up in prices that took place over nearly a decade in the Giacometti market. Safra’s purchase marked the end of growth in Giacometti prices. No significant sales have taken place since. So Mrs. Safra was a trailing indicator, not a market bellwether.
Following the Smart Art Money (Wall Street Journal)