2010 has been one of the most confusing, unpredictable and unexplainable years for me as an art market analyst. So many of the trends, events and fads that emerged during 2010 did not appear to be caused by the sort of conditions, have the same effects, or follow the same path of logic that one would expect they would given the way things have panned out in past years
Over the years many very interesting and revealing investigations into the inner workings of art auction houses have been conducted by journalists. Having read most of the results of these investigations myself, I thought that it would be useful to provide a list of what I believe are the most informative and educational investigations to have been published in recent times. If you are wondering at this point whether I gold some sort of grudge against art auction house then I can assure you that I don’t. Most of the problems that have arisen with the art auction sector have originated from either one person or a small number of people who think that they are invincible and take things too far.
Having focused my last few posts on the issues surrounding the questionable practices of some art auction houses, I thought it important to let people know how they can avoid becoming a victim of dirty art auction tricks and tactics. The only real way to avoid becoming a victim of the art auction houses is to ask questions and to know which questions to ask. Below is a list of questions, and the reasoning behind each question, that will ensure that you know exactly where you stand.
Where does the manipulation and deception end? When will people realise that although the questionable practices exhibited by many auction houses are legal, they should not be tolerated? How far will art auction houses be able to go before someone steps in and says ENOUGH IS ENOUGH !! Let’s take a look at the history of sins committed, and those allegedly committed, by the big three art auction houses.
Not only does there seem to be the potential for art auction buyers to be influenced by incorrectly categorised and catalogued works, but apparently some auction houses now appear to conducting auctions in a manner that suggests that art buyers are unable to make decisions for themselves when buying at auction, and need to be told what they should be buying.
In my last post I detailed two definitions of contemporary art from two different contemporary art museums that challenge the rather inadequate and misleading definition of contemporary art that many auction houses seem to abide by. Even though I had found two good museum definitions of contemporary art, I continued my search to see what else I could find. And I am glad I did continue searching because I came across a particularly interesting definition of contemporary art provided by the Tate Museum
So, my last post on the issues surrounding the definition of contemporary art and the classification of works of art by auction houses created quite a storm – and rightly so. If you are still wondering why I have such an issue with the way some auctions houses categorise the works they are selling, then perhaps what I am about to show you will provide some enlightenment
The Great Contemporary Art Market Cock-Up – artmarketblog.com
All last week I was bombarded with headlines that announced the returning strength of the contemporary art market thanks to the phenomenal prices achieved for works by artists such as Warhol, Lichtenstein and Klein whose work was described by one major newspaper as the fons et origo (latin for source and origin) of contemporary art. Now I am not trying to be rude or degrade the journalists who make this mistake, but Warhol, Klein (Yves) and Lichtenstein are NOT CONTEMPORARY ARTISTS, and their work is NOT CONTEMPORARY ART !!.