The art market today
The latest evaluation of the art market’s size and its evolution were released last week (October/2013). They are showing a 15% increase of the contemporary art market at an international level.
Contemporary art has become more attractive than before, but modern art still represents almost 40% of the market. The emerging markets and new museums in China and others are demanding contemporary art.
Also art has become an important tool for investments. Since the various financial crises of the last 10 years, banks are investing in art as a refuge. So they’re a demand-side pressure.
The three main market segments for works of art:
On the bottom: reproductions
can buy online, low-risk
no real investment upside
an easy way to get works you love on your walls
middle of the market: good original works
lesser or modestly known artists
real value, reasonable prices,
potential for investment upside, but it’s always a risk
the satisfaction of owning an original work
crazy top market for a very few collectors and investors
can be hard to understand the rationale
can be quite speculative and risky
once a work is acquired by a celebrity investor, that’s instant promotion for the artist
- top collectors also often sit on museum boards, so what they’re buying tends to end up in museums, too