The New York Times tries to stir up trouble suggesting that Steven Cohen’s absence from the art market (by that they mean he’s not at ArtBasel in Miami Beach) spells danger for dealers:
“It’s disconcerting,” said Timothy Blum, co-owner of Blum & Poe, a gallery in Los Angeles. “We’re talking about a lot of liquid,” he added, meaning money. “A lot of liquid. I’ve never calculated it out, but he’s responsible for a significant percent of our business.”
For Mr. Blum and other elite gallery owners, there is sincere dread at the notion, however remote, that Mr. Cohen may one day be sidelined.
But upon reflection, and speaking to Todd Levin, the paper concludes:
“[W]ould there be an effect?” asks Mr. Levin. “Sure, but only in the super, super, superhigh end of the modern and contemporary markets. There would still be plenty of people buying in the eight-figure range and plenty buying in the seven-figure range. There are a lot of really wealthy people in the world, in Brazil, England, other parts of Europe, China. If one billionaire stops buying art, it’s unfortunate, but the world goes on.”
Because Mr. Cohen has so much money, he is unlikely to ever have to sell his collection, experts say. But if he did, he would probably find many willing buyers. History suggests that any tarnish that might attach itself to the reputations of people doesn’t touch their art assets. Mr. Cohen’s well-regarded eye would probably give his works a greater value.
But those who say they believe the art market would be unfazed by Mr. Cohen’s absence are saying something about the market itself, which is now more diverse than ever. “Five or six years ago, all this talk about Steve Cohen might have been quite significant,” says Anders Petterson of ArtTactic, an art market research company based in London, “but he’s now just one of many big fish in this pond.”
So much for that. Next?