Does the economic turmoil hurt the art market?

Bloomberg is reporting that sales are down at Chelsea Galleries.

Cristina Delgado, a New York-based art adviser is quoted in the article as saying: “My clients are sitting tight and they want to see what happens in the next six to eight months.”

Then she adds: “The prices for young and emerging artists have to come down to adjust to a new economic reality.”

Also on the economic front, comes news that the art-collecting wife of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. Chief Executive Officer Richard Fuld, is selling a $20 million set of rare Abstract Expressionist drawings at a November auction.

And there are many unanswered questions about what will happen with the art collections of these failed investment banks.

Yet, while the “Fat Cats” of Wall Street are imploding, the Russian oligarchs continue to buy up contemporary art, including participating in the recent direct-to-auction sales by Damien Hirst.
Bloomberg also reported that Victor Pinchuk, a steel billionaire, and director of the Kiev art center purchased a Damien Hirst at the recent auction.

I wonder if Russian, Chinese or Middle Eastern billionaires will be buying up the art collections of failed free market capitalistic Wall Street firms?


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