Inflated Artist Syndrome – artmarketblog.com
One of the biggest problems with an art market that is growing at such a rapid rate is that the massive demand for fresh talent and new works has catapulted many artist’s to the dizzying heights of art market stardom without the level of critical, institutional and curatorial recognition that one would expect from an artist achieving such high prices. What many people don’t seem to realise is that a desire for works by an artist at the present time does not guarantee a market for the artist’s work in one years time or in ten years time. Neither is there any guarantee that the artist’s work will demand the same prices in the future that they are achieving at the present time.
Collectors such as Charles Saatchi may well be doing graduating artists a disservice when they waltz into graduate shows and do a spot of shopping which gives a select few artists almost instant fame and desirability. Saatchi isn’t the most discreet of collectors and is watched like a hawk by the media who are always at the ready to report on which young artists are being targeted by the super collector. What the media don’t tell you is that the artists that Charles Saatchi chooses to purchase works by, are by no means guaranteed to be the next big thing or even worthy of being invested in, or collected, in the first place. Just like everyone else, even the most savvy and experienced art collectors have personal tastes and make subjective purchases that do not always mean that the artist whose work was purchased is destined for success. Unfortunately, regardless of whether or not the artist is worthy of being collected or invested in, the demand for an artist’s work and the value of the artist’s work are bound to increase when reported as having been purchased by an influential collector or famous person.
There is a reason that you never see things such as “work purchased for $40,000 in 2006” or “work purchased by Charles Saatchi from 2005 graduate show” in an artist’s cv or bio and that reason is that events such as these are not indicative of the value of an artist’s work. Although I have great respect for Saatchi and his commitment to promoting young artists, I do think that he should be a lot more discreet with some of the purchases he makes to prevent the value of an emerging artist’s work from being grossly over estimated. If you are thinking that being catapulted to the heights of art world stardom is a good thing for a newly graduated artist then think again. To find out why, stay tuned for the next post.
**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