Monday, January 30, 2012

Financial Security Through Art

Despite the economic recession numbers indicate that the art market is booming. Reports from Deloitte Luxembourg and ArtTactic indicate that in 2011 the assets in investment funds in art rose 26% from 2010, totaling $960 million. Sales at the leading auction houses (Sotheby's and Christie's), meanwhile, rose 35% from 2010, totaling $1.7 billion in 2011.
While in 2008 the art market experienced the same downturn as the rest of the markets, the record-breaking deals over the sale of artworks has resuscitated the art market.  Artwork is considered a tangible item, and is therefore a more stable investment in times of economic turmoil.  In response to their fear that the stock market will continue its downward spiral, those who can afford to have invested increased amounts in art.  Market sentiment to prepare for the coming rise in inflation suggests investment in "hard assets"; the wealthy have therefore diversified their investment strategy to include the purchase of big-ticket artworks.
In light of this booming art market in an otherwise economic downturn and stagnation, we are prompted to revaluate the meaning of art.  What value do we, as a culture, place on art? Has the commodification of art exceeded its aesthetic value?  Has art become more of an investment than an object of talent and beauty? How will the "value" of art be determined in the future, and what will constitute a "worthwhile investment" in art? And, most importantly, what implications will this have on future security of art and culture?
Originally posted by Sally Johnson on

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