Art market hasn’t escaped to ‘Black Monday’

On a Monday that tested the nerves of the financial markets, almost no active escaped to the panic created by the fear of China’s economy deceleration. Even the art market, who usually don’t have big movements during August, was forced to ‘awake’, with many collectors trying to use artworks to achieve liquidity.

The art dealers were called to intervene with urgency, as explains to Bloomberg Asher Edelman, head of ArtAssure – a company that provides consulting and financing to the art market. According to Asher, some collectors sought loans, offering artworks as guarantee. Others, really wanted to sell their artworks. The reason was common: ensure liquidity.

Peaceful August

Because most of the galleries are closed during August, it is not usual to see particularly relevant movements occurring amongst this month. But this situation has been changing. Financial markets and art industry are more and more related, not only because of the artworks’ prices (art auctions are breaking records), but also because buyers are seeing their collections as investments that may be used in future loans.

Last year, the art market has exceeded the levels reached before the economic recession, generating sales of 51.2 billion euros. According to the European Fine Art Foundation, in 2007 the numbers did not exceed the 48 billion euros.

“I want to invest, but not in shares”

With this week’s ‘Black Monday’, and its impact in all markets, the artistic consultants had a lot do handle.   Interestingly, and precisely because art loans are getting in vogue, banks are imposing some limits.

Asher Edelman confessed that last monday some collectors  wanted to know the exchanging conditions of Andy Warhol’s paintings or Iranian artifacts, for example. Elizabeth Von Habsburg, from Winston Group, said that the question that everyone asked her was where to invest money, rather than shares.  Elizabeth’s response was rather curious: “In artworks lower than $ 100,000, from artists that are in their mid-careers (…)”


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