Absent Data Equals Art Market Fear – artmarketblog.com
If knowledge equals power then knowledge also equals confidence, especially when it comes to making decisions, because being knowledgeable on a certain subject allows one to be confident in the decisions that one makes in relation to that subject. Conversely, a lack of knowledge equals a lack of confidence that in turn causes pessimism and fear.
The art market is all about confidence:
-the confidence of the collector in their ability to purchase a work that represents good value for money and will add value to their collection
-the confidence of the investor in their ability to identify a profitable work of art
-the confidence of the investor in their ability to predict the future of the art market or the future value of an artist’s work
-the confidence of the seller in their ability to identify the right market for their work and the right time to sell
The plethora of art market data and information that we have at our fingertips, thanks mainly to the internet, has given art investors and collectors the ability to make informed decisions and make much more accurate predictions. This increase in available information has in turn dramatically increased people’s confidence in themselves and the art market in general. Looking back to the art market boom of the early 90’s there was no where near the amount of data and information available on the art market and consequently a much lower level of confidence from those involved in the art market. Without the wide availability of data and information people were far more cautious with the decisions they made and far more reluctant to take a risk.
According to Thierry Ehrmann of artprice.com, “In the early nineties the art market had no reliable source of real-time information comparable to the stock market. Remember that, not so long ago, if you wanted to find an artist’s benchmark price you had to flick through thick books and even then you would only find a sample of results from the previous year War in Iraq stirs up bad memories. The first Gulf war in 1991 triggered a dismal slump in the art market.” When things go wrong in any market the first thing people usually do is analyse the data and make comparisons and predictions etc but without this data one can really only presume the worst. The Gulf war was a time of great uncertainty which, partly because of the lack of available information on the art market, resulted in extreme caution and pessimism in the art market.
See the rest of the series analysing the 90′s art market correction here:
**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.