Irish Art collector's knickers burst into flames…
"I asked several art experts how many billionaires are prepared to spend, for example, $20 million on a work of art.
“Over 200,” said Marc Blondeau, who heads Blondeau & Cie, a Geneva gallery specializing in 19th- and 20th-century art. How many would go over $50 million? “About 100.”
Charles Moffett, executive vice president and vice chairman of Sotheby’s worldwide Impressionist, modern, and contemporary art department: “I’d say the figure for those going over $20 million is about 150. There are about 100 who would go over $50 million.” Last year Sotheby’s sold 13 works of art for over $20 million. Christie’s sold 20.
David Nash of the Mitchell-Innes & Nash Gallery in New York, which deals in contemporary and modern art, believes that there are about 200 very rich collectors who would shell out $20 million or more on one artwork. “As to $50 million on one work, well, $50 million isn’t what it used to be, but I’d say between 50 and 100,” he said.
What this says about art and art collectors is a confirmation of art being viewed as a commodity. The three key reason art is collected at this level are: tax benefits, ego-stroking and the investment near certainty that - sometime in the future they will be able to sell for even more than they paid. A sad trio of dreams and greed.
I guess I'm REALLY glad to be a poor irish art collector gathering a few works by British and Irish artists to my modest little suburban house. Nope - I don't want to be one of those "super-collectors". (Liar, Liar…your knickers are on fire…)