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jerryking : sotheby's   14

Boom amid the bust: 10 years in a turbulent art market | Financial Times
July 27, 2018 | FT| by Georgina Adam.
September 15 2008, the date of Lehman Brothers' bankruptcy filing, was also the first day of a spectacular gamble by artist Damien Hirst, who consigned 223 new works to Sotheby’s, bypassing his powerful dealers and saving millions by cutting out their commissions........The two-day London auction raised a (stunning) total of £111m.......o the outside world, though, the Hirst auction seemed to indicate that despite the global financial turmoil, the market for high-end art was bulletproof....in the wake of the Hirst sale, the art market took a severe dive.... sales plunging about 41% by 2009, compared with a market peak of almost $66bn in 2007. Contemporary art was particularly badly hit, with sales in that category plunging almost 60 % over 2008-09. Yet to the surprise, even astonishment, of some observers, the art market soon started a rapid return to rude health...the make-up of the market has changed. The mid-level — works selling between $50,000 and $1m — has been sluggish, and a large number of medium-sized and smaller galleries have been shuttered in the past two years. However, the high-performing top end has exploded, fuelled by billionaires duelling to acquire trophy works by a few “brand name” artists....A major influence on the market has been Asia....What has changed in the past 10 yrs. is what Chinese collectors are buying. Initially Chinese works of art — scroll paintings, furniture, ceramics — represented the bulk of the market. However, there has been a rapid and sudden shift to international modern and contemporary art, as shown by Liu and other buyers, who have snapped up works by Van Gogh, Monet and Picasso — recognisable “brand names” that auction houses have been assiduously promoting......Further fuelling the high end has been the phenomenon of private museums, the playthings of billionaires....In the past decade and even more so in the past five years, a major stimulus, mainly for the high end, has been the financialization of the market. Investment in art and art-secured lending are now big business....In addition, a new layer of complexity is added with “fractional ownership” — currently touted by a multitude of online start-ups. Often using their own cryptocurrencies, companies such as Maecenas, Feral Horses, Fimart or Tend Swiss offer the small investor the chance to buy a small part of an expensive work of art, and trade in it.....A final aspect of the changes in the market in the past decade, and in my opinion a very significant one, is the blurring of the art, luxury goods and entertainment sectors — and this brings us right back to Damien Hirst....Commissions are probably also lucrative. E.g. a Hirst-designed bar called Unknown was unveiled recently in Las Vegas’s Palms Casino Resort. It is dominated by a shark chopped into three and displayed in formaldehyde tanks, and surrounded by Hirst’s signature spot paintings. Elsewhere, Hirst’s huge Sun Disc sculpture, bought from the Venice show, is displayed in the High Limit Gaming Lounge. ...So Hirst neatly bookends the decade, whether you consider him an artist — or a purveyor of entertainment and luxury goods.
art  artists  art_finance  art_market  auctions  boom-to-bust  bubbles  contemporary_art  crypto-currencies  Christie's  Damien_Hirst  dealerships  entertainment  fees_&_commissions  fractional_ownership  high-end  luxury  moguls  museums  paintings  Sotheby's  tokenization  top-tier  trophy_assets  turbulence 
july 2018 by jerryking
Modern African Art Is Being Gentrified
MAY 20, 2017 | The New York Times | By CHIKA OKEKE-AGULU.

.Sotheby’s held its first auction of modern and contemporary African art on Tuesday, where 83 pieces by artists from Cameroon to South Africa sold for a total of nearly $4 million.....The sale at Sotheby’s, the granddaddy of auctioneers, most likely signals the beginning of a more serious interest from Western museums, which may finally start to consider such work worthy of inclusion in their permanent collections........Now that it is seen as high culture, the art and artists are gaining value, investors are jostling to get a piece of the action, and private collections are growing in Africa and around the world.....African contemporary artists have also moved beyond nationalism and are more likely to sound off about globalization and complex identities. But the continent’s masses will be the biggest losers. ...That’s because whole countries in Africa cannot boast of a single art museum of any renown......During the colonial era, bands of looters — missionaries, scholars, security forces and fortune hunters — fanned out across the continent and, by force or guile, carted away vast quantities of Africa’s artistic heritage. Many of these masterpieces of ancient and traditional African sculpture now reside in major private and public collections in the West, with little chance of ever returning to Africa......We cannot let this history repeat itself. But what is to be done?

African collectors and those based in Africa must participate in this market, for it is more likely that their collections will stay on the continent......As Africa overcomes years of dictatorships and civil wars, its fledgling democracies have seen the rise of a wealthy, cosmopolitan class interested in supporting art and culture........The spread of private collections is, however, not the long-term goal. Rather, it is a step toward a future in which well-run public collections are supported by governmental and nongovernmental institutions.....and thus serve the greater cultural good........Even so, Africa cannot solely rely on the good will of individual collectors. State agencies and municipal governments must foster a richer cultural experience for their citizenry. And they can do this by building and maintaining museums in major cities. The usual practice of treating art and culture as a superfluous aspect of the human experience undeserving of public support is not tenable.

If museums exist and are run well, the art will come.
Sotheby's  Africa  museums  collectors  collectibles  human_experience  patrons  art  artists  artwork  auctions  contemporary_art  gentrification 
may 2017 by jerryking
Auction houses embracing digital technology to sell to the new global rich
SEPTEMBER 18, 2014 by: John Dizard.

....The auction houses have been under pressure to adapt to this changing universe. While the most visible aspect of the houses’ digital revolution may be their online auctions, the most essential is in the systematising and networking of their customer, market and lot information. Without that, the auctioneers would lose control of their ability to charge gross margins in the mid-teens as intermediaries of the $30bn global art auction market....Within the quasi-duopoly of Christie’s and Sotheby’s at the top of the auction world, Christie’s has now moved to implement what it calls its “digital strategy”....Christie’s now has James Map (as in founder James Christie), a sort of private internal social network that allows specialists, client service staff, support staff and executives to see what is known about a client and his tastes. Past auction records, relatives’ purchases and sales, statistical inferences on how likely clients are to move from buying an expensive watch online to participating in a high-end evening sale – it all can be in the mix.

The idea, Murphy explains, was “to create an internal app that spiders into our database of information and brings up on our internal [screen] environment lots of connectivity. This is faster and better than the email chains [that it replaced].”....This summer, Sotheby’s announced a partnership with eBay, the online auction giant. While the details of the partnership are still being developed, it is understood eBay will distribute live Sotheby’s auctions to its global audience of 150m buyers.

Ken Citron, Christie’s head of IT

The digital strategy is also making it easier to take part in auctions. Even with all the unseen know-your-customer checks now required by financial supervisory agencies, it has become much faster and easier to register as an auction house client. About half now do so online.

But while the online revolution may have left some auction houses behind, for others it is generating new business. Auction houses used to regard the sale of smaller, cheaper objects from, for example, estate liquidations as an annoying loss-leader business that just wasted their specialists’ time. Now, however, many are making money selling objects for $2,000-$3,000; it’s just a matter of cutting transaction costs. “We have a new app with which you can take a picture, push a button, and it goes to a specialist, with a description. Then the specialist can decide if it might fit into an auction,” says Citron.
auctions  Sotheby's  Christie's  data  art  collectors  high_net_worth  partnerships  eBay  duopolies  digital_strategies  CRM  IT  margins  intermediaries  internal_systems  loss_leaders  transaction_costs  cost-cutting  know_your_customer  Bottom_of_the_Pyramid  estate_planning  liquidity_events  online_auctions  digital_revolution 
november 2016 by jerryking
With Misattributed Constable Masterpiece, a Rare Look Into the Imprecise World of Art Identification - NYTimes.com
By LORNE MANLY MARCH 7, 2015

At a time when the attribution of paintings can be so litigious that many experts have retreated from the field, the startling reassessment of the “Cathedral,“ and its sudden explosion in value, provides a rare window into the often imprecise, and debate-riddled, field of identifying the authorship of artworks.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art has twice changed its mind in the past four decades over whether its portrait of Philip the IV is a masterpiece by Velázquez (the current view), or a fine painting by an also-ran. Sotheby’s was sued after it sold what it had determined to be a copy of Caravaggio’s “The Cardsharps” for £42,000 (about $83,000) in 2006, only to have a scholar later declare it was actually by the master himself.

This time it is Christie’s that is facing questioning over whether it bungled the attribution of a painting. “We understand that there is no clear consensus of expertise on the new attribution,” the company said in a statement.
art  artwork  art_history  art_appraisals  art_authentication  auctions  imprecision  painters  paintings  provenance  Sotheby's 
march 2015 by jerryking
The Art World’s High-Roller Specialist - WSJ - WSJ
Nov. 6, 2014 | WSJ | By KELLY CROW.

Ms. Xin is a leading player in the art business’s central game right now: a race to match a small number of $10 million-plus masterpieces with a small number of mega-collectors, who are increasingly coming from Asia.

Ms. Xin is one of the latest auction stars to emerge amid this high-stakes backdrop. Her profile rocketed after she helped her contemporary-art clients place bids or win half of Christie’s top 10 priciest works in May. Nearly 6 feet tall, she was easy to spot standing between colleagues in the saleroom’s phone banks, wielding three cellphones at a time and lobbing bids at a regular clip. By sale’s end, she helped her Chinese clients win as much as $236 million of art. François Curiel, a four-decade veteran of the firm, said he’s never seen one specialist account for that large a haul in a sale.

Ms. Xin’s quick ascent comes amid China’s expanding clout on the global art stage. Most specialists are art experts who build up a career doggedly over decades. Ms. Xin, however, never saw a work of art until she was 19. But since she joined the auction business nearly seven years ago, she has homed in on finding masterpieces—and collectors who could afford them.
art  art_advisory  auctions  China  Chinese  Christie's  collectibles  collectors  economic_clout  high_net_worth  match-making  Sotheby's 
november 2014 by jerryking
Sotheby's and Christie's Race to Find New Art Collectors - WSJ
By KELLY CROW CONNECT
July 31, 2014

If you're even remotely curious about starting a blue-chip art collection, there's a good chance the world's biggest auction houses already know who you are, and exactly how much you might spend to own a masterpiece. Gone are the days when auctioneers simply mailed sale catalogs to strangers after reading reports of their newfound fortunes. Today, climbing art values and an influx of new international collectors have thrown Sotheby's BID -1.32% and Christie's into a global frenzy of research and genuflection. They've dispatched armies of experts to identify potential bigwigs, and satisfy their ever-expanding art whims.

A third of Sotheby's 1,550 employees are assigned to look after at least 9,000 top collectors, a job that entails everything from researching bidders' financial standing to digging through catalogs for objects that might intrigue them...Behind the scenes, auction houses say they are ferreting out collectors by teaming up with insurers to offer art appraisals. In India, Christie's joined with a luxury hotel chain to tap its Rolodex two years ago, in exchange for giving occasional art lectures at several hotels.
Sotheby's  Christie's  art  collectors  auctions  insurance  art_appraisals  whims  blue-chips 
july 2014 by jerryking
Hedge-Fund Managers Playing Larger Role in Art Market - WSJ.com
By
Kelly Crow,
Sara Germano and
David Benoit
Jan. 23, 2014

Hedge-fund managers, who play a vital but disruptive role in the broader financial markets, are increasingly throwing their weight around the art market: They are paying record sums to drive up values for their favorite artists, dumping artists who don't pay off and offsetting their heavy wagers on untested contemporary art by buying the reliable antiquity or two. Aggressive, efficient and armed with up-to-the-minute market intelligence supplied by well-paid art advisers, these collectors are shaking up the way business gets done in the genteel art world.....Today, are applying their day-job tactics to their art shopping, dealers say.

Corporate raiders a generation ago typically held their art purchases for at least a decade. Today, the average holding period for contemporary art is two years, according to a former Sotheby's specialist. That is enough time to reap a tidy profit on a rising-star artist but hardly enough for art history to rule on the artist's lasting merits.
art  artists  collectors  Wall_Street  hedge_funds  contemporary_art  moguls  Sotheby's  investors  dealerships  Citadel  Ken_Griffin  volatility  Christie's  market_intelligence  herd_behaviour  aggressive  art_advisory  real-time  holding_periods  art_market 
january 2014 by jerryking
Auction Houses Muscle In on Art Galleries' Turf
OCTOBER 20, 2013 |- Barrons.com|By MARY M. LANE
Auction Houses Muscle In on Art Galleries' Turf
Contemporary-Art Boom, Margin Pressures Force Christie's, Sotheby's to Evolve.

For decades, the art business thrived on a symbiosis between galleries and auction houses. Galleries and the dealers who ran them traditionally made long-term investments in discovering and developing young artists, placing their artworks with influential collectors whose patronage would further an artist's reputation and ultimately increase his selling prices.

Auction houses, for their part, provided a lucrative secondary market for the most enduring of those artworks, but rarely handled trendy new artists.
[image] Christie's Images Ltd

Sales of highly experimental works, such as 'To Meet My Past,' by Tracey Emin, typically have been handled privately; the work went for $778,900 at a Christie's auction.

Now, a boom in the contemporary-art market and margin pressures in the auction business are changing all that. Those forces are prompting the houses to experiment with new ways of auctioning art and to arrange more private sales of contemporary works outside the auction room, where profits are richer.

Increasingly Sotheby's and Christie's are catering to a new breed of art buyers from the hedge-fund world and emerging economies who prefer to quickly acquire big-name pieces of art instead of building relationships with galleries where they might buy the art more cheaply.

Last year, private-contract sales of fine art accounted for $1 billion of Christie's $6.27 billion of revenue and $906.5 million of Sotheby's $5.4 billion. That's a big jump from before the global financial crisis: In 2006, Christie's sold $256 million of art in private sales, while
art  artists  auctions  dealerships  Christie's  Sotheby's  galleries  London  collectors  patronage  art_galleries  secondary_markets  hedge_funds  symbiosis  contemporary_art 
october 2013 by jerryking
On the Market
1 March 2012 | n + 1 | Alice Gregory.

I knew little about. In my interview, I told my future boss that I had never been able to imagine an idea that could be best expressed by painting it. “But,” I added, making exaggerated eye contact, “appreciating art doesn’t mean you can send effective emails. I can write. I can make your job easier for you.” This is the best thing to say in an interview if you are young and unqualified to do anything other than maintain a personal blog. I started three weeks later.....financial journalist Felix Salmon asserted in response that “the entire business of the art world is built on opacity and information asymmetry.” Salmon continued, “One of the weird things about conspicuous consumption in the art world is that for all that it’s conspicuous it isn’t public—outside the big public museums everybody tends to be very secretive indeed about what they own and what they don’t.”.....
art  auctions  Sotheby's  opacity  asymmetrical  conspicuous_consumption  information_asymmetry  provenance  financial_journalism  Felix_Salmon 
may 2012 by jerryking
Life continues sweetly for the .001 percent
10 November 2011 | Breakingviews | By Jeffrey Goldfarb.

Context News
The season’s art auctions ended with the sale of $316 million of contemporary and postwar art at Sotheby’s on Nov. 9. The event took place just hours after U.S. stocks tumbled 3 percent in the market’s worst day since mid-August.

“It was one of the best auctions I’ve ever seen in my life,” said Nicolai Frahm, a leading London-based contemporary art adviser. One work, “1949-A-No. 1” by Clyfford Stills fetched $61.7 million, smashing the previous record for the artist at more than twice the presale estimate.

Separately, at a Time magazine person of the year event on Nov. 9, celebrity chef Mario Batali likened bankers to Adolf Hitler and Josef Stalin. Batali later apologized, but not before news of the comments had swept across Wall Street, prompting some financiers to say they would boycott his restaurants.
auctions  high_net_worth  art  collectibles  contemporary_art  collectors  affluence  Mario_Batali  Sotheby's  the_one_percent 
november 2011 by jerryking

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