10 Misconceptions about the Art Market …

{The art market and its misconceptions}

The art market is the object of all fantasies and extremes. El dorado, while a bottomless pit for some, represents some $60 billion for others while enjoying a glorious as well as a demonic reputation.
Artsper takes things into consideration and distinguishes true from false regarding 10 received ideas about the art market.
“It’s intimidating!”
When you pass through the doorways of a gallery, do you dread the haughty looks of the employees? This is because a significant portion of their salary goes to the commission, and as a result, at first they start thinking about your bank account. But don’t misunderstand it, these are real contemporary art enthusiasts, and they’re always delighted to teach you about the works of an artist… Never hesitate to ask for information or advice from the gallery’s employees, they are very considerate and attentive. Accordingly, the clothes don’t make the man!

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“It’s a sport of billionaires”
Surely, as soon as you see Picasso sold at €125 million, Cézanne at €190 million, and Gauguin at €250 million, you’ll think that billionaires really don’t know what to do with their money. But these are unique cases! Most collectors are ordinary people just like you and me, amateurs, rubbernecks, and with very limited budgets.

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“It’s too expensive for me”
Wrong! If it’s true that Jeff Koons, Andy Warhol, and JM Basquiat are sold for a fortune, they represent less than 1% of art market. The vast majority of works are sold at less than 3,000€ and you can find unique works from 100€! Look at Artsper, where everything has been selected for you.

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“The artists are already rich enough just like that!”
Ok… Damien Hirst has a fortune estimated at more than $400 million. But stop dreaming, more than 90% of artists don’t live off their work. And only 5-6% of artists were able to live all their lives for their art without interruptions.

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“It is impossible if one doesn’t live in Paris-London-New York!”
Not for two reasons: first being that there are galleries in almost all big cities. Use Google Maps! The second is that with sites like Artsper, you can buy from any gallery in the world from the comfort of your couch!

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“It is very uncertain, you never know if the artist will gain value!”
And fortunately! If it had ever been possible to anticipate an artist’s success, the artists would never take the risk and would conform to a wise algorithm instead… And suddenly art would cease to exist or become insignificant. Therefore, do not try to anticipate your return on investment, and be guided by your emotions and instinct.

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“It’s like saving money!”
Yes and no… It’s true that some highly regarded artists have a chance to grow in value which attracts collectors that invest merely financially. But it doesn’t work consistently since the artist’s odds to become successful can drop at any moment! In the 90’s, for example, a group of artists of the YBA (Young British Artist) movement served as a hold-up on the art market (notably Julian Schnabel and David Salle), with prices even higher than Andy Warhol. Today, they amount to 1/20 of Andy’s value!

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“I could make it myself rather than spending a fortune!”
Well done! The work will have no value, but if it gives you many emotions, there’s no need to deny it… A certain John Czupryniak has also experimented. Revolted because the Museum of Ottawa bought Barnett Newman’s bi-chromatic canvas (only 2 colors painted in wide strips) for $1.8 million, that house painter decided to redo the work identically, and sell it for $400. A beautiful secondhand work!

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“A work must be seen before being bought”
There are two sides to everything… Although many collectors have already adopted the habit of buying the work via catalogue and telephone. Because today, due to photographic quality, screen resolution, print quality, etc., the effect is almost the same.

Furthermore, 68% of the collectors claim that they have already purchased online.

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“The market corrupts works of art”
Let’s stop with the image of a bohemian artist who will be recognized only after his death and for whom money is secondary. This non-commercial, romantic vision is no longer valid. Whether it is good or bad, is not the issue. It is reality and to see art as something that doesn’t sell is more of a naivety than a dream…

art market