Tuesday, June 06, 2006


The Art Market is Not the Stock Market

Enough with the Guggenheim! On to the art market:

I have no patience for financial-world operators who think they can crank out useful analyses of the art market by relying on their usual habits of number-crunching and indexing. Skills in picking hot stocks are, thankfully, not applicable to picking "hot" artists. Financial analysts should stick to what they know. In developing a collecting "strategy," there's still no substitute for having art knowledge, lots of viewing experience and a good eye (or at least engaging an adviser who possesses these qualities).

This diatribe is occasioned by Linda Sandler's piece today in Bloomberg:

Art Prices May Falter If Global Economy Slows, Survey Shows

To which CultureGrrl replies: DUH!

Sandler reports on the findings of ArtTactic, Ltd., founded by Anders Petterson, a former JPMorgan Chase bond trader, "who applies stock-market-style analysis to art trends and sells research to art buyers and sellers."

These art-market surveys and indexes---and there have been lots of them---almost always fall apart once you examine their methodology. In this case, we learn that "the views of about 105 collectors, including entrepreneurs and financial people---a few from Petterson's JPMorgan days---plus 45 dealers, auctioneers, advisers and art commentators" provide the basis for ArtTactic's sweeping pronouncements.

In particular, I have no confidence in ArtTactic's survey of "confidence in individual artists." Sandler informs us, without a trace of derision:

Cindy Sherman, Maurizio Cattelan, Takashi Murakami, Marlene Dumas and Elizabeth Peyton have all risen in the ranks since November. Collectors have become less bullish about Franz Ackermann, Kai Althoff, Jake and Dinos Chapman, Rosemarie Trockel and Luc Tuymans.

Quick, call you broker! Short those Chapmans! Peyton's the place!

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