The Financial Times gets a few positive comments on the prospects for sales at Frieze this week. Along the way, we hear more suggestions that among the world’s wealthiest art is being used as a reserve currency:
Before the fair’s opening on Tuesday to selected guests, Clare McAndrew, an economist specialising in the art market, said that any impact on the sector had yet to make itself felt, with Chinese buyers still spending overseas in spite of problems at home.
“Even if there is less money for luxury spending, there’s commonly a substitution effect when times are tough: people buy fewer designer bags and instead buy things they think have a tangible value,” said the director of Arts Economics.
Victoria Siddall, Frieze’s director, said that continued Asian enthusiasm was reflected in record numbers of Beijing collectors attending, while acceptances at Frieze-organised VIP events at London’s big museums were also at a record high. “For many people art collecting can be all-consuming — it’s not necessarily the first thing to be cut,” she said.
Last week, in a story about Brazilian collectors we had this blunt comment:
“I view our collection as a store of value. We’re not extremely worried [about whether] the work is likely to increase in value quickly, or double in value, but I know that money is there if I need it tomorrow,” he says.