The New York Oberserver gives Richard Kirshenbaum a platform to wax on about the good old days when art collectors really cared. Unfortunately, as one of his first anecdotes shows, those who complain the loudest are often the most responsible for what they decry. Notice how this art advisor wants to be able to have it both ways, condescend to her clients but also crow about her ability to play the art-as-investment game so well:
“A dealer I know quite well who caters to this crowd used to call it big swinging dick art,” a reed-thin consultant told me over a salmon roll at Morimoto. She lamented that an art collection is viewed much the same as a stock portfolio.
“I’ve had clients who have no idea who the artist is they’re actually bidding on,” she said. “One couple who spent millions on a piece—I actually had to correct their pronunciation of the artist’s name. It’s like they bought a Givenchy and pronounced it Give-IN-chy and not Gee-von-ché,” the consultant shrugged. “But I made a good commission on that one, and the piece has already tripled in value.”
The Rise of the Art Insta-Collectors (NY Observer)