Tuesday, January 20, 2009

ArtTactic: Art Market May Take Years to Recover

ArtTactic Ltd reports that confidence levels in the contemporary art market have fallen 81 percent since May 2008 and may take between three and five years to recover. ArtTactic provides unbiased art advice, analysis and market research for art collectors, art professionals, art funds, and art institutions.

The recent ArtTactic survey includes a new “Survival Rating” of artists who respondents believe will be considered of high importance within 10 years time. German artist Gerhard Richter was at the top of the survival list followed by Jeff Koons and Cindy Sherman. Damien Hirst was lucky-- he was able to land the seventh position on the list of ten ’high importance’ artists. Others were not so lucky.

The ArtTactic survey rated Jake & Dinos Chapman, David Salle, and Franz Ackermann as current high importance artists who will least likely to be considered of high importance by 2019. Needless to say, ArtTactic feels that when the dust over the market settles the market, as we know it, will be a very different place.

ArtTactic became the first company to ever develop an Art Market Confidence Indicator, an indicator of the market based on feedback that is now closely followed by individuals who follow the art market. ArtTactic’s Western Art Market Confidence Indicator dropped to 10.5 from 56, the lowest level reached since the survey was introduced in May of 2005.

ArtTactic’s findings were supported by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors survey. RICS is a professional body representing art appraisers, auctioneers, and real-estate surveyors in the United Kingdom.

Key points of the ArtTactic survey:

-Confidence hits rock bottom: US & European Contemporary Art Market Confidence Indicator drops 81% from May 2008.

- Recovery will take years: 52% of the respondents believe it will take more than 3 years for the market to start picking up, and more than half of these believe it could take more than 5 years.

- Bottom falls out of the high-end of the market: The confidence has weakened in all of the higher price segments since May 2008

Links of Interest:

Art Market May Take 3-5 Years to Recover, Survey Company Says -- Bloomberg


Take care, Stay true,

Brian Sherwin
Senior Editor
New York Art Exchange


Anonymous said...

~ Hmmmmmmmmm... VERY interesting. Thank you so much for calling this to my attention in the way that you have. I'm curious to know other factors that have not been discussed so in depth within the article, focusing in on issues such as currency exchange rates, as I'm sure the broader economy in general has been having a turbulent effect on just the pricing aspects alone. Not to mention confidence, between the collectors and dealers. Are credit purchases different, and in what way, I wonder? Insurance policies and regulations? Geography must play a part in all of this as well.

The highest levels of the art market, as we all know, sometimes thrives during these financial crisis-oriented market environments, but this is no art-grab by the Nazis during a World War. Nor is it the subsequent liquidative aftermath, insinuating itself into high culture, excused summarily by those of high culture, who only view their newly purloined and pillaged acquisitions as having somehow found their way into their collections by fate or by divine right. To them, financial might used to make right. What sayest them now? Museums; are THEY capable of maintaining their collections? Or are there reports that famous works of artists long-deceased are rising, coming back to life, and moving from locale to locale, shifting aimlessly on the tidal waves of this 'financial tsunami', as surfing ceo's are terming it? If my Monet were to move from the Met to the MoMa, does that mean that his foundation takes a van-gouging in their equity?

~ This may indeed be a longer term era of drought, not only for artists, but also for galleries as artists cannot continue their creative paths as they focus more and more upon mere survival. Will we find that more and more of the 'way of the artist' is studied by the greater art market? Will we find that former gallery owners and dealers and collectors begin to adopt the diet of ramen noodles that the sub-species of the human race known as 'artists' can survive on for long periods of time? This article may indeed reveal a levelling aspect heretofore unknown in the art market. Who will survive this episode of attrition? The artist? Or the art market?

It must also therefore be so for the occasional art buyer or the serious art collector, their positions in society, and in the inner society of the art market, seemingly drawing closer, if only due to suddenly finding themselves pretty much in the same boat. How many life-boats does the Titanic world of art have, at any rate?

~ Perhaps this may be the only way that art will move beyond the last decade or so of people purchasing a painting based upon their sofa's colors, instead of vice versa, or of paying more for the carpet that they trod upon than for something that brings them joy and visual serenity on a daily basis, and that will outlive their lifespans and the lifespans of their children, whom they can bestow it upon.

~ Perhaps the age of the so-called 'young dumb money' crowd, the trust-funded-ones, and the credit cool clique as the post-post-modern interior decorator, is truly over. How much do you think they will try to buy faux-couth for now, do you suppose, if there are no paintings with which they can impress their peers to be found? If it takes a wheelbarrow-full of inflated/devaluated fiat paper currency to purchase a 9"x12" giclee', before the electricity runs out, does that make it FAR more valuable than a crude but artistic drawing upon a crumbling edifice wall-street (small 'w', small 's') wall with a charcoal-tipped stick by a once successful floor broker-turned-TRULY-starving-artist? I guess my REAL question, concerning the article, and the views of those who have formed the opinions quantified by abstract percentages of those who say 'thumbs up' within 3-5 years, let the strugglers survive, as opposed to those who say 'thumbs side-ways', is this: WHAT GOOD IS ART? THEN, NOW, AND IN THE FUTURE? The old saying, of the tree in the forest, may hold some weight for you all to think about. If a painting is painted by a painter, without the eyes of a buyer to see it, is it art?

~ Perhaps, as an inconsequential artist of only a few short decades myself, my paintings would now be better put to use broken up and used for kindling fires with which to heat up my daily can of pork.n.beans until I can no longer feed myself, my dogs, my neighbors, and my fellow Americans. A veritable 'fire sale', so-to-speak... everything must go.

~ OR: somehow, someway, art will survive. With or without 'the art market'... Perhaps...

~ Hallah John Paul Boltik

Anonymous said...

^ Following the worlds longest (and near most pessimistic) comment I'll try and keep mine short(er) n sweet(er).

A major issue is two incorrect stereotypes about buying art. First, that it's only for the rich and secondly that it does (or should) follow the market.

Those in the art industry should be educating people more so that art not just a luxury. It can be an extremely intelligent alternative to the market...especially now!

Folks in the middle class are bombarded with magazines and ads to throw all their retirement money into stocks and bonds. With the market crash, how in the world can that seem like an intelligent choice now? Conversely spending a few thousand on a work of art (instead of a stock) might likely be much more financially rewarding 10, 20, 30yrs later (e.g. a Warhol soup can that sold for $100 in the 60s last went for $11.8 million).

Personally, why people DON'T spend at least 5-10% of their retirement savings on art is beyond me. That's real diversification!