For one recent example, look at Damien Hirst, says Jeff Rabin, principal and co-founder of Artvest Partners…In September 2008, Sotheby’s held a much-ballyhooed sale of the artist’s work, with prices ranging as high as $18.6 million. But the market for Mr. Hirst’s work has cooled, and those who bought at the sale “would have, on [...]
Hirst’s naysayers doubt that. They trace his fall to a $200 million auction staged in 2008, on the day Lehman Brothers collapsed. Hirst sold hundreds of works directly to bidders, defying the custom of restricting supply. “Hirst screwed with his market, and it came back to bite him,” says Michael Plummer, principal of the investment advisory firm Artvest Partners. “He broke the economic rules of the industry.”
An untested company helmed by alittle-known art dealer might have trouble getting traction in the reputation-obsessed art world, advisors suggest. “In theory, it sounds like agood idea. But how can they guarantee the property owner comfort?” asks Jeff Rabin, co-founder of art investment ﬁrm Artvest Partners. “I don’t know what they own or the scope of their guarantees. But if all their clients try to cash in at once, they might be forced to go into bankruptcy and liquidate. And if that happens, what happens to all the people they guaranteed?”
“From an investment standpoint, fine art-contemporary, impressionist and modern art-is a deep market. It’s globally traded and liquid,” says Michael Plummer, co-founder of New York-based Artvest Partners, which advises wealthy families and individuals on investing in fine art.