Ups and downs in the world of high art
November 15, 2007 4:07 PM   Subscribe

Is the high end Art market finally tanking? A week or so ago, it sure looked like it. An important van Gogh piece did not sell, Sotheby's stock price went into shock. However, all is well this week as both Christie's and Sotheby's kicked it into high gear and set some new records.

Some more chatter on the events of the past week can be found here:

The Wall Street Journal's art blog: focused on the business of art.
Art news
Artopia - John Perrault's art diary
Modern Art notes
Artforum, and
CultureGrrl
posted by psmealey (13 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
Here is the ArtForum link
posted by psmealey at 4:10 PM on November 15, 2007


I never got was so great about Jean-Michel Basquiat's work. I mean I'm sure there are millions of people who could turn out work of that quality.

I imagine his fame had a lot more to do with who he associated with, and, I almost think that for a lot of people who buy this stuff it's more like trading cards.

One thing if you were rich, you could buy up the work of a dead artist and then then promote them, hell make a movie about their tortured life, and the value of the work would go way up, if you did it right, you could make a killing.
posted by delmoi at 4:55 PM on November 15, 2007


Stock goes up. Stock goes down. Not a tremendous demonstration of the notion that economic fundamentals are reflected in the price of a stock. Either Sotheby's is a financially solid company or it isn't. Surely there shouldn't be this much variation on the basis of a particular sale.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 5:29 PM on November 15, 2007


Actor Hugh Grant is happy with the $21 million sale of his Warhol portrait of Liz Taylor at the Christie's auction. He bought the painting ‘Simply Liz’ six years ago at a Sotheby’s auction for $3.6 million.
posted by ericb at 5:38 PM on November 15, 2007


I think a lot of people feel that way delmoi, but Warhol really was enthusiastic about his work, and was the taste-setter for NYC and the larger artworld back then. If Andy gave you his seal of approval, it meant you had arrived. And your prices rose accordingly. Personally, I really dug him, and remember his SAMO tags in lower manhattan, even before I knew who he was.

I like that Van Gogh site. Bookmarked.

Basquiat
posted by vronsky at 5:39 PM on November 15, 2007


It's nice to see the ultra-rich really pull together to save one of their beleaguered organizations.
posted by blue_beetle at 5:57 PM on November 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


I never understood what people did not get about Basquiat's work. His work made everything else in New York at that time seem so bourgeois and lifeless.
posted by cazoo at 6:13 PM on November 15, 2007


Wow. That's a pretty big fucking heart. Is that the sort of thing you need to make in order to get a porn star marry you (assuming you're not a rock star)?

I like it, but I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have paid $23.5 mil for it, besides, I was otherwise engaged downtown last nightt.
posted by Tommy Gnosis at 6:35 PM on November 15, 2007


Excellent post!
posted by Bighappyfunhouse at 6:41 PM on November 15, 2007


One thing if you were rich, you could buy up the work of a dead artist and then then promote them

Alternatively, you could do what Saachi does, and buy up the whole of a young artist's output. Catch them at their graduation show, when you can get it for a song. Corner the market in their work. Show it in your own gallery, though you don't really need to, because as the market maker in contemporary British art, the simple fact that you've bought an artist makes them important.

Sell at astronomical profit! Everybody wins! OK, Saachi and the artist wins!
posted by PeterMcDermott at 8:29 PM on November 15, 2007


It's nice to see the ultra-rich really pull together to save one of their beleaguered organizations.

Say what you want about Sotheby's and its clientele, but they are in the recycling business. There are worse businesses to be in.
posted by Tommy Gnosis at 7:42 AM on November 16, 2007


It's nice to see the ultra-rich really pull together to save one of their beleaguered organizations.

People and institutions (such as foundations and museums) with major art holdings are in a really terrible bind right now. If art anything like what they own is put up for auction, they must somehow arrange for it to get a high price or watch their own art, often a significant fraction of net worth, collapse in value.

This is bad enough if the art is just hanging on a wall somewhere or sitting in a warehouse, but if it has been used as collateral for a big loan, as I believe I read was becoming a bit of a trend a few years back, it's a catastrophe.
posted by jamjam at 9:06 AM on November 16, 2007


a fool and his money are soon arted.
posted by bruce at 9:22 AM on November 16, 2007 [1 favorite]


« Older John Updike (yt) discusses A&P....  |  The Roma Journeys... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments