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Have we reached the climax of a fine-art bubble?

03 June '12 by the editors

A few weeks ago, when Edvard Munch’s iconic painting “The Scream” was sold for about $120 million and became the most expensive artwork ever sold at auction, it seemed like we had reached the climax of a fine-art bubble.

After all, from 2003 to 2007, the fine-art market grew even faster than subprime housing. And then it kept on growing even after the crisis. Less than a week after the Munch auction, Mark Rothko’s “Orange, Red, Yellow” sold for nearly $87 million. Eleven of the 20 highest prices ever paid at auction have occurred since 2008, when the global economy all but collapsed.

Adam Davidson from The New York Times writes of art's insulated market, "For those who believe that the very, very rich will continue to grow at a pace that outstrips the rest of us, it seems like there’s no better investment than art."

Apart from the upper echelon of buyers, "Most people who create, trade and own art do it for a much simpler reason. They just like it," he concludes.

Read more at: The New York Times


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