Is the market a bubble ready to pop?
The market for artwork is a paradox: increasingly global and celebrity-driven, yet just as likely to take root in a New Orleans park or an online website as a high-end Manhattan gallery. Its products range from paintings and sculpture to prints, antique tea sets and furniture, even Banksy graffiti. It’s a major employer, accounting for more than 6 million jobs worldwide, and at its highest levels is driven by rich people getting richer: a mixture of supply and demand, greed, desire, and socializing, to the clink of Champagne flutes. The market has repeatedly set record prices, but experts warn it could be a bubble primed to pop. Yet online sales are growing, and investors are hunting for the next big thing, including African art. Among the issues under debate: Is the art market like the financial market? Does the art business reward artistic merit? Is globalization harming artists and the art market?
Findlay, Michael, “The Value of Art,” Prestel USA, 2014. An art dealer looks at the financial, social and intrinsic values of buying art through the prism of recent art purchases.
Polsky, Richard, “I Sold Andy Warhol (Too Soon),” Other Press, 2009. An art dealer’s gossipy, autobiographical look at the overheated market for Warhol and other contemporary artists. A fun insider read on the art market.
Thompson, Don, “The $12 Million Stuffed Shark: The Curious Economics of Contemporary Art,” St. Martin’s Griffin, 2010. An economist’s behind-the-scenes look at the paradox of art economics and the machinations that create art superstars.
Baker, Stephanie, and Hugo Miller, “The Billionaire, the Dealer, and the $186 Million Rothko,” Bloomberg Markets, April 27, 2015, http://tinyurl.com/
Crow, Kelly, “The Gagosian Effect: How the powerful art dealer uses his global network to fetch ever higher prices for his artists. Can it last?” The Wall Street Journal, April 1, 2011, http://tinyurl.com/
Davidson, Adam, “How the Art Market Thrives on Inequality,” The New York Times Magazine, May 30, 2012, http://tinyurl.com/
Deresiewicz, William, “The Death of the Artist – and the Birth of the Creative Entrepreneur,” The Atlantic, January-February 2015, http://tinyurl.com/
Gamerman, Ellen, “Business Looms Larger in Art Classes,” The Wall Street Journal, Feb. 18, 2016, http://tinyurl.com/
Jones, Susan, “Artists’ low income and status are international issues,” The Guardian, Jan. 12, 2015, http://tinyurl.com/
Sheets, Hilarie M., “The Resurgence of Women-Only Art Shows,” The New York Times, March 29, 2016, http://tinyurl.com/
Werner, Anna, “A treasure hunt for undiscovered American artists,” CBS Sunday Morning, Nov. 9, 2014, http://tinyurl.com/
Zarya, Valentina, “Meet The Artist Who Paints the Stock Market,” Fortune, Jan. 12, 2016, http://tinyurl.com/
Reports and Studies
“Artists and Art Workers in the United States,” NEA Research Note #105, National Endowment for the Arts, October 2011, http://tinyurl.com/
“The Contemporary Art Market,” Artprice.com, http://tinyurl.com/
“Cultural times: The first global map of cultural and creative industries,” United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, December 2015, http://tinyurl.com/
“The Hiscox Online Art Trade Report 2016,” Hiscox, 2016, http://tinyurl.com/
“Skate’s Annual Art Investment Report, 2015,” Skate, 2015, http://tinyurl.com/
Prendergast, Canice, “The Market for Contemporary Art,” November 2014, http://tinyurl.com/
The Next Step
Art Marketing and Branding
Johnson, Paddy, “Do Artist Branding and Hollywood Talent Agency Deals Kill an Artist’s Soul?” Artnet News, Feb. 25, 2015, http://tinyurl.com/
Mor, Ricardo, “Art Basel too aloof from the community,” Miami Herald, Nov. 30, 2015, http://tinyurl.com/
Artists and Collectors
Furness, Hannah, “Art world is ‘hotbed’ of corruption, collector claims,” The Telegraph (U.K.), June 2, 2016, http://tinyurl.com/
Grant, Daniel, “Artists Find Reason to Buy Back Their Own Work,” The Huffington Post, May 16, 2016, http://tinyurl.com/
Hube, Karen, “How Art Can Blow Apart Your Estate,” Barron’s, June 18, 2016, http://tinyurl.com/
Digital Art/Online Galleries
Krentcil, Faran, “You Can Now Buy Gia Coppola’s Art on The Outnet,” Elle, Dec. 7, 2015, http://tinyurl.com/
Smith, Russell C., and Michael Foster, “Talking With a Top Curator at Amazon Art, on the Fine Art of Reinventing Art Buying,” The Huffington Post, March 31, 2016, http://tinyurl.com/
Sparks, Heather, “Digital Art’s Mainstream Moment,” iQ by Intel, July 23, 2015, http://tinyurl.com/
Forgeries and Fraud
Neuendorf, Henri, “Can DNA Verification End Art Forgery Forever?” Artnet News, Oct. 12, 2015, http://tinyurl.com/
Taylor, Jeff, “The Secret to All Great Art Forgeries,” The New Republic, Jan. 6, 2016, http://tinyurl.com/
Art Dealers Association of America
205 Lexington Ave., Suite #901, New York, NY 10016
Membership organization for fine-art galleries to promote scholarship and ethical practices; also seeks to help law enforcement track forged artworks.
Arts Management Network
Bauhausstr. 7c, 99423, Weimar, Germany
+49 (0) 3643 7402612
International organization that shares information, education and book directories on arts and business topics.
The Association for Cultural Economics International
c/o Juan Prieto-Rodriguez, executive secretary-treasurer, Department of Economics, Facultad de Economia,Universidad de Oviedo Avenida del Cristo s/n, 33006 Oviedo, Spain
Scientific organization with members from academia, foundations and arts organizations who study economic aspects of the arts and culture. Also sponsors the Journal of Cultural Economics, which publishes research and academic papers and studies.
General Services Administration Fine Arts Home
Art in Architecture and Fine Arts; U.S. General Services Administration, Public Buildings Service; Design and Development, Office of the Chief Architect
1800 F St., N.W., Suite 5400, Washington, DC 20405
Searchable index of paintings, sculpture and other creative work owned by the federal government. Items date from 1850s to the present and are on loan to museums, courthouses or in government buildings.
International Art Alliance
2840 West Bay Drive, # 250, Belleair Bluffs, FL 33770
Publisher of directory of corporate art collections and related information on businesses buying art, photography and other creative work.
International Foundation for Art Research
500 Fifth Ave., Suite 935, New York, NY 10110
A nonprofit, member-based research organization on art law, authentication, collectors’ rights and more, with a journal and programs for collectors, including roundtables.
National Endowment for the Arts
400 7th St., S.W., Washington DC 20506
Federal agency that supports arts education and programming with data, grants, achievement awards; also publishes a variety of reports.
Working Artists and the Greater Economy (W.A.G.E.)
Activist group pressing nonprofit art museums and organizations to pay artists for their work, and for agreeing to exhibit or speak.