As the economy slows down people look for safe bets to try to avoid failure in the investment portfolios. That’s why we have to turn our eyes to art.
Winter auctions are always expected with great anticipation, nothing is certain, except the great names of art. And within these, the contemporary art continues its journey upwards. Collectors from around the world continue to pay millions of dollars for “blue-chip” artists like Franz Kline, Jeff Koons, Jean-Michel Basquiat and Richard Diebenkorn, to name a few.
There are some that are already beyond the investments of the Bloomberg billionaires. One example is the Andy Warhol silkscreen “Statue of Liberty”, which sold for $ 43.7 million and it got a lot of attention because of the fact that the red and green created a 3-D effect. The fact is that it was a very acid Warhol which also made the price goes up. The nice and easy is much cheaper in the market now, perhaps a reaction to the difficult times we live right now.
In two and a half hours of relentless bidding, the auction got $ 412.2 million, the highest total in the history of contemporary art auctions at Christie’s. Sotheby’s on Tuesday night was also outstanding with $ 375.1 million.
And speaking of Warhol, more than six people were bidding on the image of a sexy Marlon Brando leaning on the handlebars of his bike, sold by Donald L. Bryant Jr., a businessman from New York. Bryant had bought the painting at Christie’s in 2003 for $ 5 million. On Wednesday, his estimate was between $ 15 and $ 20 but it sold for 23.7 demonstrating that it was a good investment.
Rock musicians are among those who have had an eye for fabulous art making space on their walls for works of art without having to worry about any crisis. One example is Gerhard Richter, the German 80 year old artist who currently is the world’s most expensive living artist at an auction after a painting by him belonging to Eric Clapton was sold at Sotheby’s in London last month for $ 34.2 million. Clapton, 67, known for his work with the Yardbirds and Cream as well as a solo artist has an extensive art collection.
When speaking of words and advertising Jeff Koons is certainly is an expert. “Tulips”, a piece of large format, five feet long, in which seven tulips intertwine exhibiting the colours of the rainbow, symbolizes “the spring, rebirth, love and passion and is a tribute to all pleasures”. It belongs to a series of five similar art works and has become one of the icons of Koons (1955). It was sold for $ 33.6 million (and the lyrical text surely helped).
Basquiat the radiant boy reached his greatest success in selling one of his works for 23.5 million. His radicalism and fury of life was something that was embodied in his paintings and there are many tigers perfumed with dynamite. His figures have rich associations, spotless shapes and very poor materials. And it sells. It seems that the global elite believe in art and money. Art collectors enjoy seeing themselves in what they buy.
The art raises libido and it is easy to teach and enjoy. So of all known investments art is one of the most admired; because it is clean, eternal and give splendour.