oranje - recent posts from my current home

Monday, April 17, 2006

Feeding Frenzy

The New York Times has a recent article that addresses the hunger of some dealers for the work of emerging artists. The article states that there is not enough good work out there for a burgeoning market.

Perhaps they should learn to navigate the wide lands beyond the borders of New York City. Really, it's not that difficult, especially since so many large metropolitan areas actually have comprensive transportation systems in place. And if they think that the prices of student work in New York MFA shows is reasonable, maybe they should look at the prices for the work of mid-career artists who are producing in, oh I don't know, Pittsburgh? Philadelphia?

Another suggestion for this art-hungry market? The internet! I dare you to run a search on your favorite search engine for contemporary art. You can even be specific and search for work in just your favorite medium. You'll be overwhelmed.

What are you afraid of? Making up your own mind?


Lisa Hunter said...

It's the usual New Yorker competition kicking in. Once a key dealer signs a young artist, the art is no longer available to "ordinary" collectors. The dealers control the supply to create demand and a sense of exclusivity. So the folks at the student shows are trying to buy tomorrow's prestige item on the cheap -- sort of like going to a factory outlet for Gucci or Hermes.

Susan Constanse said...

It seems to me that art is the most difficult investment to make. There are much easier ways to get a return on your money than in buying art. If all this is about investment, wouldn't these dealers be better off buying stock or investing in some other commodity?

It seems to me that creating the demand is what is happening within this system of collecting. Instead of investing in your own spirit or in seeking affirmation of your own ideas through the acquisition of artifacts, this system discourages the growth of the artist and undermines the perogative of an individual's aesthetic.

In other words, in an ideal world, you would buy art because it means something to you.

Lisa Hunter said...

Agree. What's odd is that art prices used to be determined by how much people liked and wanted the art. Collectors had to compete to own [insert artist name here], and that drove up the cost.