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Label: global

Tuesday 14th January 2014The Global Art Market Today

Ever since the global economic meltdown in 2008, the art market has been in some relatively dire straits. Many famous works that were put up for auction by famous auction houses remained unsold, or sold for amounts that were barely eye-catching at the time. Fortunately, the rise in consumer confidence that many nations around the world have begun to experience is also making its way into the global art market, which has once again begun to thrive.

Many speculate that the driving force behind the initial resurgence in the market is a sudden increase in demand from newly affluent buyers in the Asian market, especially China, which may account for the recent perception that the most expensive works being sold today are predominantly red, as the colour red is associated with luck and good fortune in many Asian cultures. Several major crimson-tinted pieces have gone up for auction recently, including a portrait of Chairman Mao by pop-art icon Andy Warhol, valued at up to 7 million pounds, and even more eye-poppingly, a beautiful abstract piece titled 'Wall' by Gerhard Richter, which is estimated to sell at a minimum of 15 million pounds. This is truly remarkable, as Sotheby's, the auction house responsible for the sale of 'Wall', speculates that the auction may exceed expectations and sell for over 23 million pounds, breaking the record for highest auction price commanded by a work from a living painter. Not something to sneeze at, surely.

The latest estimates from Sotheby's pegs the Chinese taste for art at nearly a quarter of the $58 billion USD global art market, but buyers from Latin America, Russia and the Middle East are also paying staggering sums of money at auction houses around the world, with the current favourites being Picasso, Matisse, as well as more contemporary artists. Both Sotheby's and Christie's are also looking to expand their operations in India, with several new sales upcoming and already passed in recent months.

While most of us won't be selling works valued anywhere near the staggering amounts listed above - at least, maybe not in our lifetimes - if you're looking for some inspiration about how to guide your next piece, creating something of the crimson persuasion might help give you an edge. If nothing else, warm colours might help you creatively offset the harsh winter that's gripping much of the northern hemisphere this year.    

Posted on January 14th 2014 on 03:00am
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