May 15, 2021
The art market is an interesting place — that’s putting in mildly.
Prices fluctuate all the time. When people purchase art, they are working off of a lot of unique data. An art buyer has to ask themselves:
● What are the current trends in taste?
● Where are these trends going?
● What place does this artist have in the field?
● What place does this single work of art have in the artist’s career?
Questions of medium, style and size start coming into play, too. It’s enough to make your head spin.
At the end of the day, there is no way to perfectly predict how art will change in value. The auction houses don’t have a magic algorithm. Museums do not have a coterie of psychic advisors able to clearly see the future.
Instead, we work with rules of thumb and general guidelines.
Some art movements are so important that they are here to stay. The value might nudge up or down every few years, but you can rely on it to recover.
Big names like Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein have safe markets. Newer artists who don’t have a proven record might not be as safe — and that means buying new names comes with high risk and the potential for high reward.
A work that is in the trademark style of an artist is likely to keep and gain value. So many collectors will try to focus on those pieces that really speak to what an artist is known for.
And of course, size matters. By and large, go big when you can.
All that being said, the mystery of the market reveals itself from time to time. An artist can be reappraised and her work might triple in price almost overnight. On the other hand, tastes change, and a work of art can lose value.
The global art market is a living, complex ecosystem. Just recently, a post-pandemic auction, totaling $481 million, “signals a real return to normal and also a message that the art market is really back on track,” said Bonnie Brennan, president of Christie’s America.
In the world of art buying, there is only one way to tell — with 100% accuracy — if the price is right.
You go with your gut.
What does this mean? If you fall in love with a work and you are happy to pay its current price, you’ve got the right price.
Timing is everything. The art market is fickle, and much of it deals in one-of-a-kind works and limited edition print runs. That means that something available today might never be available again in your lifetime. And if it does become available again, it might be for a much higher price.
That’s why it is important to have an expert art advisor on your side.
Henry on Pop Art is your guide to Blue Chip Pop and Contemporary Art. With his expertise, he can find the work that fits your taste and budget. Henry can simplify the process, so you don’t have to worry about the details — just the art you love.
Consult the expert — Ask Henry