The limit situation in the art market

Art market

The limit situation in the art market


For twenty years I have regularly consulted the ArtPrice platform, one of the leading companies in the documentation of the art market. His studies are mandatory reading for gallerists, collectors and those who in one way or another want to be informed about national and international auction sales. A very complete database that provides important references: the sales volume of the artists with the geographical distribution and all the variants, the classification in the world ranking, the price of the awarded works and those that are not, the percentages of the works in all categories , sector-specific dossiers, etc.

Alongside this data, ArtPrice provides, through an online survey with real-time results, its Art Market Confidence Index , a reference barometer on the level of confidence of art lovers where the purchase intention, the current financial opinion, the assessment of the economic situation and the evolution of prices for the following three months. Since 1997, ArtPrice's econometrics department has developed algorithms based on accuracy and a unique data bank, which make its economic indicators a vital and necessary tool for professionals, consolidating this platform as a world leader in the information of the art market. In the years I've been checking it, I've never seen such pessimistic values in confidence levels.

My surprise was to see the current values at the end of the first half of 2022: negative numbers, values that even in previous crises had never been reached. Worst possible! Just when it seemed like everything was starting to pick up after the damn covid pandemic, another pitcher of cold water has dropped by surprise. The war in Ukraine and the global crisis situation that is being announced have destabilized the hopeful expectations that were held, foreseeing a not at all favorable environment.

In one semester the landscape has changed and the truth is that there are two measuring sticks. One, that of a minority in which only 1% invest and get rich, and more than collecting it seems that crises do not go with them (let's not forget that at the end of 2021 several world art records were registered , as Christie's and Sotheby's recorded stratospheric sales breaking historical figures); one of the best years in its history. The other side of the coin hovers over the remaining 90% of the market, which is suffering and must lower prices to survive. A scenario that is taking it to a borderline situation of free fall. Despite this panorama, it is an excellent and ideal time to acquire works of art in this background. Big offers from auction houses lead to prices dropping considerably, and great opportunities are found in established artists with a long track record.

A great time to acquire works at an affordable price and build an interesting collection. Once again we reiterate that new strategies will be needed for the market to continue to survive. These are turbulent times, the uncertainty for the coming months hovers over a sector that, in recent years, has not been able to find a restructuring suitable to its intrinsic problems. So let's get ready for a hot autumn, the party is served.

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