Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Art Basel (Basel) Dealers Pleasantly Surprised

The deck is listing on the European economy. People are stockpiling food and cash, begging for bailouts. You know the routine. Art dealers at Art Basel (@ Basel) which just closed, were worried for naught. Just as in the U.S., Middle Eastern, Indian and Chinese markets, at the upper tiers of the art world, it's as if nothing has happened. No, it's much better than it was back in 2008. Why?

Because the 1%'ers that collect art at that level are not in the same economy (or planet!) as the common mortal. Their economy, unlike that of the other 99% is flowering, doing better than ever. The gap between them and the 10%'ers is rapidly widening. A lot of works that were being "kept in the family" by individuals are now being jettisoned, and museums are decommissioning others to raise funds. For those that are doing well, it's easy pickings, save for the inconvenience of having to compete with each other. But there's enough art and buyers to sustain over two-hundred major art fairs yearly.

This is nothing new. The same thing has happened before, just don't make the mistake of assuming this is going to be trickling down any time soon.

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