The American presidential elections are coming up, and both candidates have promised change. However, I’ve been sniffing out more change in the air, and I think it’s going to make itself clear when people begin voting with their dollars at the auction houses Christie’s and Sotheby’s this month.
November is typically a month of big auctions for these two art houses. Look at Christie’s calendar, and in upcoming days they are covering Impressionism, Modernism, Post-War and Contemporary Art. These are some big guns, and the Old Masters are still to come. Sotheby’s in New York is also covering Impressionist, Modern, and Contemporary art. The high expectations that have usually been blown through the roof will be harder to fulfil this year.
Why? Aside from people having less discretionary capital, art itself isn’t the stable investment it once was. As I pointed out in a previous post, art and housing prices might prove to be quite similar. Growth in art prices has beat the S&P for the past few years, and prices have skyrocketed. This kind of growth would be hard to support at any time, and prices are no longer buoyed by a growing economy. While prices going down might seem like bad news to the artists and galleries, it’s an opportunity for people who collect because of passion. So as other people are watching the polls, I’m going to be watching the auction sale results in the upcoming days. I feel confident promising you citizens that change is coming.