Contemporary Art Today, 11th February 2015

A Few Months Ago Christies Sold 800 million Dollars Contemporary Art in One Night

What is the fascination and who is behind the boom in contemporary art?

The bonanza of Contemporary art continued in London this week but to a much lesser degree. Prices on this side of the Atlantic never reached the heights of New York of last Autumn. Nevertheless, when art of any concept or size attracts 30 million pounds or 50 million dollars, one must stop and pay attention to the artist and his art.

It seems to me that art is only selling when the artist is B or C and it has nothing to do with concept, prettiness and how good the artist is. Name, Name and Name of the artist makes the work go round. Do not look at what sells as you will run to hide from the art of today for which many investors pay millions for. Do not read the justifications and writings of artists, gurus and critics. They make sense but they are nonsensical and only a justification of what is already been done by x or y person/artist.

You might ask me and justifiably so: Why these enormous prices for art that might be worthless in a few decades?

Well, at the moment, there is a glut of money looking for a home. The areas of investment are well known and rarely yield more than a couple of points annually. Buying Contemporary art might be the answer for those in the know and the money. If you invest millions in an artist, then you are likely to make millions by sponsoring his/her art. The next step is easy. Cash in while new investors with bigger purses discover the artist you have already helped to be noted, spotted and dealt in at much higher prices.

Does it sound crazy?

No, it is not and it works. The big galleries have good artists under contract. They promote their work, they keep investing in their work and at the same time selling, promoting and improving the value of the artist’s stock. Thus anybody involved in the artist, investor, gallery owners and buyers live the life of a great investor making many millions from a few million. The idea that works not fresh on the market do not sell, goes out of the window in Contemporary art and when an artist is hot, really hot!! It is surprising that expensive investments at auction of the last ten years find themselves back on the rostrum selling to new investors and double and treble the initial auction price or the price paid in a gallery or an exhibition.

I am not suggesting to rush into any gallery or auction in order to buy any piece of art for X sum. If you can afford art, then buy it to enjoy first, keep then, and finally never sell it as you love it!

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