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Post #442 • December 31, 2004, 11:18 AM • 9 Comments

Nothing in Street this week, but in an unprecedented move, they posted their art listings online.

Brett Sokol for the Miami New Times: The Art of Investing in Art: Wall Street gives new meaning to the term "artist portfolio."

Miami New Times: Current Art Shows. I say, what's that handsome name under the Fabian Marcaccio review?

Broward/Palm Beach New Times: Artbeat. Watch Michael Mills clutch at straws.

Gary Schwan for the Palm Beach Post: Art show unveils how other half lives. I've decided I really like Gary Schwan.

See you there: a party at an undisclosed location. Be safe, be well, and peace and blessings to all in the coming year.




December 31, 2004, 9:42 PM

Yes, Gary Schwann is fun to read. I wish he was writing for the Herald.

The "Wall Street" piece was depressing. I guess it was meant to be. Everytime the art market goes up these smartass "art portfolio" people come out from under their piece of the rock and inveigle the same desperate dopes featured in the rest of the article into putting some of their ill-gotten lucre into art investments. I saw it in the 60s, the 70s (after the market revived), the late 80s (boy, did that go bust!) and again now. Then when it all crashes they retreat back into their vast carelessness, like Tom and Daisy Buchanan at the end of "Gatsby", and let other people clean up the mess they made.

And I can really appreciate the haughty "sniff" Margolies affects toward art inverstors after buying some dumb pickup truck that is supposed to be art for "six figures". He, of course, pays scant attention to such things.

Take care, art lovers. This part of the game may not be for you.


shaolin soccer mom

December 31, 2004, 10:24 PM

I cought a little bit of a segment on NPR the other day about a controversy re a piece currently on view at the MoMA from somewhere in europe, which was stolen from a Jewish family during the holocaust. Well. The MoMA doesn't want to hand the piece over because it's on loan, not theirs to give, and I got the general impression that everyone in all concerned parties was pretty pissed off (even to the extent that it's expected to sour future art loans from europe to the US). Yet I missed key parts of the story, and can't seem to find reference ot in online. Anyone else hear about it?

Not a bad time to give some money to charity - the death toll in south Asia is probably going to end up in the millions if they don't get some serious help pronto. AND the world needs to see some cash coming from America. Like I would hope it ends up being more then we gave at 9/11, all things considered (especially since our Fearless Leader waited from Sunday to Wednesday to do jack shit to help). AND if you get your donation in within the next few hours, you theoretically get a tax write-off for the year (though I doubt this makes much difference at my sallary).


shaolin soccer mom

December 31, 2004, 10:43 PM

OK I've found the link on NPR:

All Things Considered, December 27, 2004 · The Museum of Modern Art is opposing a Jewish family and the U.S. government over a painting seized by the Nazis in 1939. MOMA wants the work by Austrian painter Egon Schiele sent back to the Austrian foundation that lent it for a show. But under U.S. law, "Portrait of Wally" could be stolen property that should be returned to the family. David D'Arcy reports.

Well. There's your double post, and pretty much non-sequitur. Now all I have to work on is those open tags...



December 31, 2004, 11:44 PM

Actually, SSM, I've been thinking about expanding the roundup to include the more interesting or laughable arts stories from around the press throughout the week, so you're on-topic after all. (And by "double post" I mean identical or duplicate posts, so you're good there too. Thanks.



January 1, 2005, 7:05 PM

The art-as-investment story is entirely predictable. People who go for this sort of thing are no different from those who play the stock market, and they should simply be seen as financial speculators, not art people. There are plenty of other people heavily into the "art scene" who, while they may not be primarily investor types, are not really in it for the art but for other ulterior reasons. A lot of these people have deep pockets and thus wield influence, which is bound to have a pernicious effect, and does.



January 1, 2005, 9:09 PM

Must agree with you on that one.
Most of the big art collectors I know only buy if it is something that will increase their "status". Then to make money...
Very last on the list ususally is any passion about the work or the artist per se...
Of course at those prices I guess you can't blame them entirely (at least about the money thing)...

Since you said we can go off taget a bit, what about the new issue of Art News? The list of great underrated artists.
Hmmmmm, the majority of those listed: women...
Dare we go there?

As for collecting for profit... Moca has an upcoming lecture on just that. How investment bankers are encouraging people to round out their portfolios with art. Unfortunately it doesn't really trickle down to those not included in the "Blue Chip" category...

Lest I forget. Happy New Year!


mr strauss

January 2, 2005, 12:05 AM

well, personally I think that anything that encourages people to buy art is a good thing. Even if the effect is only temporary. The problem is that money minded people think they can learn some sort of reliable strategy towards buying.

Of course they can, but not in the way they think. Smart money buys really 'true',' compelling art, regardless of its popularity at the moment. Because the ultimate quality of a work may correlate with things like visibility and popular regard, but they often don't. In fact, all great works begin - or at least all great artists begin in obscurity. Many languish there for years before emerging into the wider consciousness.

The best strategy for investment, therefore, is to buy these artists' work. If the work is compelling enough, and the artist prolific enough, it will acheive recognition by its own merits.

But which artists/works are suffiiciently compelling? Well, to answer that you have to either 1) develop a really keen aesthetic vision. Or 2) to ask someone who already has developed one. So an investor needs to choose between years of pre-investment research, thinking, and self-improvement, or a search for a good consultant.

Assuming an investor chooses the second option,

Who has the keenest vision in these matters? Who would be a wise person to consult?

Why the best artists, of course. They are the ones with the keen vision.

So an investor needs to get a strategy for figuring out which artists are the best. How can you tell which artists are best?

They make the best work. Which brings us back to the top of the circle, because the quality of an artist's work may correlate with things like visibility and popular regard, but it doesn't necessarily....

and so on.



January 2, 2005, 1:34 AM

Mr Strauss, you have just described a very large circle which comes right back to the simple fact that there is no way to "prove" what is any good. The only reason all the other things happen with art is that, unlike music, or literature or theatre, art is a an "ownable" commodity. Hence status (you have it on your wall in your house) and investment (you own the whole thing). This process feeds on itself, hence the vulgar circus called Art Basel.



January 3, 2005, 7:55 AM


could any tell me if any B-school in the states offering Msc/master degree in fine arts investing.




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