How do you handicap the art market, with a thousand points of data poured into an algorithm or poring over catalogues using a healthy dose of intuition? Adam Lindemann weighs in with his comments on London sales mostly applauding the market action, occasionally questioning the prices paid but always comparing them to what passes through is iPhone.
The whole column is well worth reading but here we’ll just quote from his comments on the Koons, Cracked Egg (Magenta) that sold for $23m in London:
Twenty-three million dollars is a lot of money for this, considering that only a season ago Sotheby’s failed to sell a handful of early and important works (Wall relief with Birds (1991) and New Hoover Celebrity IV, New Hoover Convertible, New Shelton 5 Gallon Wet/Dry, New Shelton 10 Gallon Wet/Dry Doubledecker (4 works) (1981–86) including the historic Hoover vacuum cleaner works. The Koons market today makes little sense because early important pieces sell for a fraction of what Celebration pieces collect. Consider that the artist is very much alive and making more Celebration works every year and my head begins to spin . . . isn’t that a disturbing thought! […] Let’s remember that Balloon Dog sold with quite some difficulty at Christie’s only last season and for only double this amount, though it’s more than three times as iconic. The rumor then was that it would make up to US$100 million, but it “only” sold for $58,405,000. The Koons market is upside down and demonstrates absolutely no desire to right itself.