You don’t need to be an economist to realize that the financial skies will not be clear anytime soon. Could it be that the worst is yet to come? The auction house Christie’s International thinks so. Their plan of action? Simple. The notable auction house is in the process of making staff reductions as a result of poor auction performance in recent months. Staff reductions at a major auction house is just another sign of the chaotic times we are in as far as the economy is concerned.
The dire state of the economy has forced many artists to step outside the unwritten rules of the art market. Even established artists, such as Damien Hirst , have lowered prices drastically while embracing alternative marketing plans that go against the traditional schematics of the art market. Art dealers have suffered as well.
Many gallery doors have closed since the fall of the economy. I’ve been told that some art dealers and their staff have placed bets on which gallery will close next-- all the while fearing that they may be next. There seems to be no end to the concern that art professionals from all levels of the art world have due to the financial crisis.
The fact that Christie’s is showing signs of struggle makes it very clear that the decade-long art market boom has officially ended. Now is the time for artists, art dealers, and even auction houses to rethink the ways in which they sustain themselves during turbulent times. Indeed, the protective bubble surrounding the art market has popped .
The official statement from Christie’s to the press:
“Effective January 12, 2009, we have begun a company-wide reorganization review, which includes the possibility of significant staff reductions, not renewing many consultants’ contracts and the continuation of other cost reduction initiatives, that will ensure we remain competitive and profitable in 2009. Any staff reductions that might be necessary will be implemented globally in accordance with local regulations and in as considered and timely a manner as is possible.”
Links of Interest:
Christie’s Begins Massive Layoffs -- Art Fag City
Christie’s Cuts Costs as Art Market Slows -- New York Times
Christie's announces 'significant' job cuts -- International Herald Tribune
Christie’s to Cut Jobs as Crisis Cuts Auction Sales -- Bloomberg
Take care, Stay true,
New York Art Exchange