Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Art Beats Shares?

On the day that saw the 4th largest Wall St Investment bank, Lehman Brothers, go to the wall, British artist Damien Hirst broke with tradition successfully selling new work at auction.

In what has been the preserve of the secondary art market saw primary market works getting the prices many a collector would be happy to achieve after several years of ownership. In the first day of a two day auction Hirst sold 127.2 million dollars worth of his art at Sotheby’s London auction house.

That this daring move by the artist, that surely must see commercial art galleries, the traditional preserve of the primary art market, shaking in their boots, happened on a day when the other preserve of the well heeled, the share market, headed off to free fall territory can only be rubbing salt into the wound.

Perhaps New York art dealer Jose Mugrabi observations maybe correct. “Today people believe more in art than the stock market. At least it’s something you can enjoy.”

To see the NYT report of all the gory details click here.

That art critic Robert Hughes said it was just a load of kitsch doesn’t seem to have had much effect with those who are prepared to put their dollars where their mouth is.

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