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June 22, 2006

ArtInfo - Valuing the Work of Artist with No Auction Trail

If you've not seen this ArtInfo.com Column by Robert Ayers yet.. it's worth a look.

I love this quote by Zack Miner of Christies, it really sums up much of what has been going on in Chelsea today:

“With the speculative way in which many people are now approaching the emerging artist market, Miner continued, “I think that something’s being lost, and that’s the role of collectors of emerging artists as true patrons.”

Roulette_wheel The bottom line is:

  • 1. Don't expect to buy the work of an emerging artist either expecting to make money, or even have it retain it's original value. It's best to think of it as your own private way to support the arts, and the artists.
  • 2. For new work by currently producing artists, most auction prices tend to be 25% to 50% less than same work at a gallery
  • 3. Only if the work is recognized as quality and the artist is perceived as hot, might it sell for much more than current gallery prices
  • 4. No one really knows what the value of an emerging artist work is going to sell for at auction..that's why they are called EMERGING ARTIST!!!

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What do you mean MAO..???

I can't expect the value of my many Loretta Lux photos to keep going up??

What's interesting is to see which new artists the top auction houses will take on, and which they reject. To be included at a top 3 auction, the art needs to have pent-up demand, i.e. collectors who want it but have been unable to buy from the dealer. In that case, the bidding often exceeds the gallery price.

Of course, there's the whole issue of dealers who bid on their artists to keep the prices stabilized...

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