Earlier this year, the consignment of three Rothko paintings to Sotheby’s prompted us to build a model for predicting sale prices using artificial intelligence tools applied to historical Rothko sales data. How did the model perform when predicting the future and what do these results tell us about the market for paintings by Mark Rothko?
The relative uniformity of Rothko’s work, especially when compared to other art world icons like Picasso and Warhol, make him an ideal candidate for using artificial intelligence tools to develop a predictive model for estimating sale prices at auction.
When the 2017 tax reform took effect last year, art world watchers feared the elimination of an important tax break for art investors would dent the market. But not only has the U.S. art market held steady, it could benefit from a new tax break for investments in struggling neighborhoods.
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act signed into law in late December 2017 created a new tax benefit that is particularly beneficial to U.S. art collecting taxpayers. This benefit comes from a program in which investors receive varying levels of special tax treatment if they invest capital gains in Qualified Opportunity Zone Funds designed to spur economic activity in economically distressed communities. The longer investors keep their investments in these funds, the greater the tax benefits they receive.
The founders of Miss Porter’s School, an all-girls high school located in Farmington, Connecticut, believed a stellar education can open a new world of opportunity for girls. To support this mission, a group of collectors and female artists came together to back the first-ever benefit auction of works exclusively by women. The generosity of these artists, and others who have contributed works to the sale, is inspiring under any circumstances. It is particularly notable because of the negligible tax benefits they will receive for their gifts.
While homo sapiens were capable of abstract thought almost 100,000 years ago, it took much longer for the human mind to invent abstract painting. It wasn’t until the beginning of the 20th century that artists such as Wassily Kandinsky, Kazimir Malevich, and Hilma af Klint created abstract works with no identifiable references to the physical world.
One accurate cliché of the art world is that nothing matters more than relationships and information. High-end art dealers and auction houses know this better than anyone. How do they acquire these relationships and information?
Some collectors have a secret when it comes to their art collection: Their adult children don't share their love of art. In fact, many like the monetary value of their parents' collections more than the objects themselves.
While Andy Warhol believed that “In the future everyone will be famous for fifteen minutes,” the artist retains his fame today almost thirty years after his death. Warhol is, in fact, so relevant to contemporary culture that despite being a thoroughly American artist, laws in other countries increasingly categorize works by the artist as cultural property subject to export restrictions and limitations on sale.
Now in its twelfth season on CNBC, American Greed delves into notorious cases of corporate and white-collar crime. I had the opportunity to be a contributing editor to a recent show on Knoedler Gallery and the fraudster Glafira Rosales. Watch a special interview where I explain how collectors can protect themselves from fakes and frauds in the art market.
Art fairs—especially the heavily attended events promoted by Frieze and Art Basel—have become laboratories where it’s possible to measure taste preferences for different types of art by analyzing the Instagram posts of fairgoers
Auction house guarantees have been an essential part of the top end of the art market for decades. But with more people than ever before clamouring to be third-party guarantors, auction houses increasingly simply structure the guarantee transaction and then sell off the risk to dealers, art advisors, or collectors who typically hail from the hedge fund, private equity, and real estate industries.
Selling a valuable work of art is a big responsibility that can push owners outside their comfort zones. There is so much money on the line, so many decisions to make, and so many questions about who to trust. How does one proceed? Let’s look at the real-life example of siblings I’ll call Jason and Lily, who sold their mother’s collection in 2015 after she passed away. Their story illustrates the pleasure and pain of figuring out the best way to sell major works of art.
Critics, collectors, and curators now use Instagram to share images of art that inspires and intrigues them. Jerry Saltz, the Pulitzer-winning art critic for New York magazine, has 287,000 Instagram followers. Yusaku Maezawa, the Japanese technology entrepreneur and collector who paid $110.5 million for a Jean-Michel Basquiat painting, has over 100,000 fans.
Collectors are sometimes terrified to sell works of art at auction—and not without reason. Maybe the object will fail to sell, becoming tainted or “burned” in the eyes of the marketplace. Maybe the estimates the consignor agrees to are too low, and the work sells for a song. But selling at auction also exposes the work to the largest number of potential buyers, increasing the odds it will sell for the best price possible.
For most investors, stocks and bonds are enough. But for some, the prospect of hanging something wonderful on their walls that may also produce great financial rewards leads them to consider putting a portion of their wealth into art.
In early May 2018, David Rockfeller's three-day estate sale brought in $833 million for charity, setting an auction record for a private collection. As part of Rockefeller's very detailed estate plan, Christie's auctioned off more than 1,500 items from the estate of Peggy and David Rockefeller
David Rockefeller inherited many things: a storied name, unimaginable wealth, an inquisitive mind, and a profound compulsion to collect. Both his parents had the collecting gene. His father, John D. Rockefeller, Jr., was the only son of John D. Rockefeller, the founder of Standard Oil and one of the richest individuals in American history.
Today’s casual art buyers may not fully appreciate the profound differences in how the art market functions compared with the market for stocks and bonds. Here’s a look at how those differences affect the risks and returns of being an art investor.
With so many works for sale, a recurring question for collectors is whether galleries or auction houses offer buyers a better deal. Based on my experiences as a collector, art advisor, and former President of the Americas for Christie’s, the answer depends on context and the type of work being sold.