Life in the art world

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  The art world, like many professions, is a world unto its own.  I love listening to artists talk about their work.  There is something almost magical to it.  You see the excitement and the creativity right before your very eyes.  But, like many businesses, you have to be in it to win it but particularly in the art world.  Gallery support is key.

The art world is being slammed with the downturn in the economy.  As always, there are a few silver linings.  Instead of seeing speculators in the art market, we are going to see true collectors stay in.  People who love art, who enjoy the world of art, want to support the artists and see works on their walls every day of the week. 

My friends Mom, who happened to be a major art dealer in the 70's told me she was sick of the art world about 3 years ago.  She was at the art auctions (Sotheby's, Christies, etc.) and there was a Richard Prince on the auction block.  She was sitting next to 2 young guys, hate to be judgmental here, but two young investment bankers.  One guy says to the other that he has heard Richard Prince is really great, worth buying.  The other guy says, ok, and proceeds to buy the pieces for over a million bucks without batting an eye.  She said this piece of art didn't speak to this guy, he had no love for it, he just figured it was a great place to rest his money and supposedly Prince was a cool thing to have.  She was so upset by the entire transaction she told me she was done with the auctions.  Lucky for her, the art world has taken a major change.  These type of buyers are leaving the art market and the prices will begin to reflect the true value of the work.

Today I was sent a piece that has just gone on the market for half the value it sold for 12 months ago.  An absolutely fantastic piece.  I wonder how much lower the price will go, what is the true value at this point. Regardless, the person who sent me the piece pointed out 2 really important things.  People who have been priced out of the markets for years are returning to the market because they can buy again and they know the true value of the work. Hence, the real collector vs the speculator.  But more important is that in times like these you see great art being made because the artists come off the tread mill and are able to be creative.  This is where the cream will really rise to the top.

As a collector, I am looking forward to see what type of work gets made in times like these. 

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