Sotheby’s goes private
Sotheby’s goes public and the art world goes down a new path. Turning the art world around is like turning around a cruise ship. It turns slowly but it eventually turns.
Publicly traded companies have more transparency, have to make the market happy and in general are managed in a way that makes the shareholders smile.
Art is a major commodity. If you missed the launch of Otis where collectible commodities are becoming democratized pushes all of us to think about these valuables. There are companies built around making galleries and companies like Sotheby’s run more efficiently and of course sell more art such as Arternal. Full disclosed we are invested in both of these companies.
Sotheby’s has so many categories that they auction and sell. Will the prices go up or down with this change? How will each of those independent verticals within Sotheby’s now be operated? Will there be more commerce and less auctions? Will their marketing shift to a new generation?
So many questions. Keep in mind there is also a new slew of young gallery owners including the children of major name brand galleries who are stepping into big roles. I’d love to sit on the new board of Sothebys because I believe it is going to be a really interesting play. Yet taking a company private means you don’t have to have a board. That is kind of the point.
The art world has been slowly moving the past ten years but I predict the next decade the shifts will be a little bit more turbo-charged. The time has come.