Post #479 • February 23, 2005, 7:31 AM • 39 Comments
Via Artsjournal, Will Bennett for the Telegraph: Market growth: quest for new collectors.
The truth is that although many people have money to spare, most are not spending it on art and antiques in the way that perhaps their parents and almost certainly their grandparents would have done. Business at the top end of the art market is still brisk, yet there are problems further down the price scale because people's values and tastes have changed and their money goes on bigger houses, smarter cars, expensive holidays, private education and luxury consumer goods. There are fewer collectors.
These difficulties are revealed by the annual survey of members newly published by the British Antique Dealers Association, which represents the top 400 dealers in the country. Although business for some members was better than the previous year, when trade was blighted by the Iraq war and the Sars virus, the BADA admits that "the overall picture still remains one of a public reluctant to part with its money".
As someone who wouldn't mind interacting a bit more smartly with the market, this question has always intrigued me: How do you convince people to buy art? They don't need it, clearly. It's not useful. Is it simply a matter of flattering their taste?
Almost everyone in the art market is now trying to crack the puzzle of how to attract wealthy new buyers. Some are getting involved in the lively contemporary market and even the venerable Grosvenor House fair has asked its 90 exhibitors to show one work by a living artist this year.
On May 16, a one-day conference entitled The Art of Dealing will be held in London by all the main trade associations to examine the problems currently facing dealers. It was announced in the Antiques Trade Gazette under a headline asking "Where have all the collectors gone?" Finding them is the 21st century art market's equivalent of the search for the Holy Grail.
This overstates the problem, surely - the trouble of all business is to find customers. But it would stand to reason that for every Rubell, there ought to be a dozen people with more modest collecting ambitions, both in purchasing power and aspirations to with-it-ness. How do we contact them, organize them, and get work in front of them?
On a slightly related note, tomorrow from noon to 1:30, the Miami Beach Arts Trust is sponsoring a panel discussion on "Artist Real Estate Purchase: Is It Possible? or, Buying a home on an artist's budget." Bring a brown bag lunch to the North Shore Park & Youth Center, 501 72nd Street, Miami Beach, but RSVP to MiamiBeachArtsTrust@hotmail.com first. (Panelists: Andy Rogow is a fully licensed mortgage broker whose firm works with over a hundred lenders to provide financing for home buyers of all income and credit types. His specialty is working with members of the artistic community. Sage Hoffman is a realtor with Coldwell Banker, specializing in Miami Beach residential properties.She holds a Bachelors of Science from Georgetown University and an MBA from Rollins College. Yves Boucher is a 12-year resident of Miami Beach. A CPA by profession, Yves also has his Real Estate license and Mortgage Broker license.)