Kate Moss Art Market Mess 2 – artmarketblog.com

Kate Moss Art Market Mess 2 – artmarketblog.com

This post will continue on from my last post (see here) regarding the article “Art sale Moss-acre” (see here)
due to the fact that I have even more issues with the content of this article and the way the related events have been reported. It is especially important in times such as these where there is a heightened sense of caution and uncertainty that frivolous statements and unsubstantiated allegations are minimised to avoid any unnecessary panic or negativity.

I particularly object to the quote in the article that says “The sale, or lack of sales, was incontrovertible proof that the money-spinning contemporary art market has collapsed into what one shocked expert called “a bloodbath”. For starters, the lack of sales was not incontrovertible proof that the art market has collapsed because the sale consisted of a very limited variety of works and a narrow price band. A majority of the works offered for sale were lower value works (see here) with estimates under 2000 pounds and the most expensive work in the sale was a work by Banksy titled FUNGLE JUNK which had an estimate of 100,000-150,000 pounds with the next most expensive being a works Ivon Hitchens with an estimate of 50,000-70,000 pounds. Out of the 283 lots I only counted 33 that had an estimate that exceeded 10,000 pounds.

Also misleading is the fact that the article doesn’t tell you that many of the lots auctioned were items of furniture and design. The market for objects of furniture and design are no where near as solid or resilient as the market for fine art which makes the overall figures for the auction less relevant as an indicator of the state of the market for fine art. Although the contemporary design objects could be included under the broad category of fine art, for the purposes of accuracy when reporting on the art market I think that the distinction should be made.

Finally, the quote included in the article from a dealer which reads “Every dealer I talk to is skint,” added another. “They are all sitting on stuff they can’t sell. There will always be the super rich who keep the top of the market afloat, but everywhere else it’s a bloodbath.” is completely irrelevant because as far as we know the dealer quoted may have only talked to a couple of dealers who could well have been local second hand dealers.

I realise that my analysis and criticism of the “Art sale Moss-acre” article may seem somewhat pedantic but when it comes to providing reports that have the potential to affect people’s perception and approach to buying art I think that accuracy and transparency are of the utmost importance.

image: One of three panels from the work Fungle Junk by Banksy

Spray paint on three plywood panels

**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

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