What I am really wondering here is,
Will our Dealers Survive?
Every artist has a relationship with at least one dealer — even if it is only a one-sided voyeuristic relationship. So it is relevant to ask:
Are they all going to go bust?
And if so, what happens to us? Do we need the dealers, or is the Fall of the Art World (as we know it) the best thing that could possibly happen?
On the one hand, the idea of cataclysmic change is always interesting, especially if it is happening to someone else. On the other hand, if you have been cultivating good relationships with dealers over the course of years, as Hanneke and I have, then the prospect of these people going out of business is pretty distressing. Distressing from an economic standpoint, not to mention from a personal one, since dealers can be pretty nice once you get to know them.
But it certainly does not look good. The New York Times paints a grim picture of the current art market:
Auction houses have begun to report sales that are less than half their level a year ago. In November 2007, the Christie’s evening sale of postwar contemporary art in New York totaled nearly $325 million; in 2008, the same sale brought in just $113 million. A share of Sotheby’s stock, which peaked above $50 in late 2007, now trades in the $6 range. . . the prices of work by young artists . . . are falling like bank stocks.
The world economy is falling apart, but it’s a great time to become an artist.
True, making a living as an artist can be difficult, even in the best of times. But there is more to being an artist than money . . .
Become an artist today and:
- stop wasting your time on the internet
- discover your inner value, even as your stock portfolio’s worth declines
- work hard, and, by the time of the next economic boom, you may well be a successful artist
The last point is critical. Someone else (I think it was Obama) said it in one word: hope.
Remember, the economy goes up and down, but art transcends economic cycles . . . and so can you. Become an artist today!
. . .
What are your creative goals for the Depression?
Related, by Birgit:
Also by Karl Zipser:
How to Store Oil Paints
Things to Ponder