Boom! (ctd.)

September 19 2016

Image of Boom! (ctd.)

Picture: Bloomberg/Phillips

Caution - the value of your speculative contemporary art purchase can go down as well as up. Bloomberg has a cautionary tale:

Art dealer and collector Niels Kantor paid $100,000 two years ago for an abstract canvas by Hugh Scott-Douglas [above] with the idea of quickly reselling it for a tidy profit. Instead, he is returning the 28-year-old artist’s work to the market this week at an 80 percent discount.

Such is the new art season. At auction houses in London and New York, sellers are preparing to bail on their investments after the emerging-art bubble burst and the resale market for once sought-after artists dried up.

“I’d rather take a loss,” said Kantor, who is offering the Scott-Douglas work at the Phillips auction in New York on Sept. 20. “I feel like it can go to zero. It’s like a stock that crashed.” [...]

Kantor acquired the work privately in July 2014. Four months later, a similar piece from the series went for $100,000 at Christie’s. Kantor expected the prices to keep surging, but in February 2015 another canvas from the same series failed to sell at auction.

“I feel like we were a little bit drunk and didn’t think of the consequences,” he said. “Then the bottom fell out. Everyone got stuck with their pants down.”

Before consigning his piece to Phillips, Kantor tried selling it privately for a year -- through Blum & Poe, the work’s former owner, even on EBay. At one point he was asking $50,000 but couldn’t get an offer.

Here's the auction catalogue. Let's keep an eye on that one. 

Update - it made $30,000. After comissions I guess that quates to about a 75% loss. And, perhaps, after the publicity a further downward pressure on Scott-Douglas' works. Of course, one always feels sorry for the artist in these situations. But maybe they'll have the last laugh yet... 

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