Scott Reyburn identifies David Martinez as the seller of the Bacon coming up in London at Christie’s:
“These sellers understand margins, and the uplift can be colossal,” Alan Hobart, a London-based private dealer, said in a telephone interview. “The auction houses have the buyers at the top end of the market. It’s globalized money. Bacon is now an auction commodity,” said Hobart, who paid 13.7 million euros ($18.7 million) on behalf of a client for the Irish-born artist’s 1961 “Seated Woman (Portrait of Muriel Belcher)” at Sotheby’s (BID) Paris in December 2007.
Reyburn also polls the flippers to find out the ideal holding period:
Five years is the recommended holding period for individual investors seeking to profitably trade contemporary art, according to dealers. In recent years, postwar and contemporary works, including those by Bacon, have been sold in shorter intervals, as prices rise to records and investors seek a quick profit by flipping art.
But that hasn’t stopped others in the Bacon market—including the sellers of the $142m work at Christie’s in November—from getting out quicker:
Another Bacon, “Three Studies for a Self-Portrait” from 1980, was sold on consignment by a London dealer to a private individual from Turkey in late 2012, the people said. That smaller-scale triptych was auctioned at Sotheby’s London for 13.8 million pounds in February 2013, netting the flipper a 2 million-pound profit within a few months.
And David Ganek thinks its a good way to make money these days now that his hedge fund has been side-lined:
“In my opinion art is an asset class with a growing amount of liquidity,” Ganek said in a telephone interview. “It’s a deep market that can be benchmarked against the performance of other investments,” said Ganek, who in addition to investing in artworks runs a family foundation that organizes educational exhibitions.