Warhol market takes a dive

November 23 2015

Image of Warhol market takes a dive

Picture: Artnet

Art Market Monitor covers Jonathan Yee's analysis of recent Warhol prices - and it's starting to look a little shaky. The graph above, you could say, reflects the bizarre state the top end of the modern and contemporary art world has got itselft into; plodding pretty well until the world went sub-prime crazy in 2006/7, then nosedived after the 2008 crash, then bounced back in a frenzy of speculation (and perhaps quantitative easing).

Where next? Down, I guess - but the question is how far, and how fast. 

Update - Michael Savage, aka The Grumpy Art Historian, writes:

I think analogies between art market and financial market are overdrawn, and often take up the weakest ideas about financial markets. Trying to read the future from charts has always seemed a fool’s errand to me, but trying to read the future from a graph with so few data points is meaningless. The term ‘bubble’ is generally over-used, and has come to stand for ‘looks a bit expensive’. But the volatility in the graph you’ve reproduced is just changing supply. The other charts in the linked post show a more consistent pattern of rising mean and median prices. I don’t see any correlation with QE or evidence for speculation here. Not saying there isn’t speculative interest, but it takes two to make a market – why don’t we use the terms for sellers, who may be speculating that prices will fall.

Personally I think Warhol insanely expensive by any comparable metric I can imagine, but then I thought that in 2001, too.

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