Celebrities and Art: The Effect of Celebrity Association on Art

Celebrities and Art: The Effect of Celebrity Association on Art

Celebrities have long been involved in the promotion of a wide range of products from fashion to jewelery to bottled water. If you have a product that you want to sell the best way to create demand is to have your product photographed with a celebrity wearing, holding or using your product. I have been seeing a similar sort of trend emerging in the

art world with artists using celebrities to increase their profile and celebrities getting involved with artists. The most obvious example of this is Charles Saatchi who has become one of the most influential figures in the art world with artists flocking to his website http://www.saatchi-gallery.co.uk to get in on the action. When Charles Saatchi was about his influence on the art market this is what he had so say:

Q: Your practice of buying emerging artists work has proved highly

contagious and is arguably the single greatest influence on the current market because so many others, both veteran collectors and new investors, are following your lead, vying to snap up the work of young, relatively unknown, artists. Do you accept that you are responsible for much of the speculative nature of the contemporary art market?

CS: I hope so. Artists need a lot of collectors, all kinds of collectors, buying their art.

Q:When you express interest in an artist, the art world takes immediate notice. The result is a rise in prices. Do you ever try to buy works anonymously to prevent this from happening?

CS: No.

It is quite obvious that association with celebrities and column inches can have a significant effect on the value of an artists work but the biggest question is for how long? It is dangerous to get caught up in these fads and fashions that come up as a result of celebrity association of similar exposure.

Another celebrity who has made the move into fine art is David Bowie. Bowie has recently launched his own online gallery at http://www.bowieart.com to nurture emerging artists. Im sure it wont be long before we see more celebrities getting on the fine art bandwagon in an effort to present themselves as being cultured.

Nick**Nicholas Forrest is an art market analyst, art critic and journalist based in Sydney, Australia. He is the founder of artmarketblog.com, writes the art column for the magazine Antiques and Collectibles for Pleasure and Profit and contributes to many other publications.

3 Responses

  1. […] post by artforprofits and software by Elliott […]

  2. This is a really great blog. I know very little about the art market, but your blog does a great job of explaining it in clear language without any of the pretension I’ve come to expect from people who discuss art. Sometimes it seems like people just want to talk about art to appear clever and don’t really know what they’re talking about. Not you sir!

    I found your blog from the recent mention on the Freakonomics blog, I think.

  3. Dear Jim,

    Thank-you for your comment, I am glad that you enjoy the blog.

    Nicholas Forrest

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