While in Miami for Art Basel, the man who runs the Contemporary art department for Christie’s did more than take a victory lap for last month’s auctions. He did a little back of the envelope calculation to show why buying pressure remains in the market for some time to come:
Brett Gorvy, head of contemporary art at Christie’s, who made the trip to Miami, these results are not the result of a speculative bubble. ” There are about 180 people with a budget of $ 30 million or more to spend on contemporary art. They are young. They have recently made fortunes. They have large cash. They want the best of contemporary art. “
What Gorvy means is that any given $30m work of art has a potential bidder from a broader pool of collectors — approximately 180 — who are ready to spend $30m on the right work of art.
[The quote above is translated from French so it won’t sound exactly like Gorvy who is unlikely to describe his clients as having “large cash.”]