The Art Auction Roller Coaster – artmarketblog.com
Here in Australia there have been some rather interesting developments in the art market the most important of which is the closure of two long established auction houses. Now before you start jumping to conclusions about the state of the whole art market there are a some things that you should know about these two auction houses and the circumstances in which they closed. Firstly, both these auction houses were relatively small and focused purely on the lower end of the market (mostly up to $20,000) and secondly, both these auction houses didn’t go out of business as such but were taken over by two of the larger auction houses and their business absorbed into the larger companies. One of the auction houses was taken over by their parent company and the owner of the other auction house, along with his client base, was taken in by Bonham’s and Goodman.
What the events of these two auction houses tell me is that the art market in Australia is most likely currently undergoing a change that is in line with a general shift in the financial status of the lower income brackets. As with many countries the wealthy are getting wealthier but those in the middle and lower income brackets who would be the primary buyers of the lower priced art are having to be more conservative with their spending because of a general air of uncertainty surrounding the economies of several countries and the associated increased costs of living. The art market in Australia as a whole has not been affected primarily because of the immense amount of wealth that is still available to be spent particularly on the higher priced and better quality works.
The decreasing number of buyers at the lower end of the market should be seen as an opportunity to acquire some bargains as opposed to a sign of things to come. There will always be ups and downs in the various different sectors of art market so it is important to remember that a shift in one particular price bracket does not equate to a shift in the whole art market.
**Nicholas Forrest is an art market analyst, art critic and journalist based in Sydney, Australia. He is the founder of http://www.artmarketblog.com, writes the art column for the magazine Antiques and Collectibles for Pleasure and Profit and contributes to many other publications.
- Danger of Careless Art Market Talk – artmarketblog.com
- Damien Hirst Screws Himself – artmarketblog.com
- Oz Artist Resale Royalty Boost – artmarketblog.com
- Indian Art Fair and Summit 08 – artmarketblog.com
- Hirst Art Auction Reality Part 1 – artmarketblog.com