Will the different plans of President Elect Obama and Mayor Bloomberg’s to raise taxes for people above the middle class result some galleries, artists and collectors moving to other countries? Will there be repercussions of Obama’s election on the art market, especially in America? Can the USA and NYC retain its place at the center of the art world?

While many artists were outspokenly for Barack Obama, his plan to tax the rich will certainly affect the incomes and spending of the rich, and this certainly includes many if not most prominent art collectors. Since it is unlikely that the poor who will be lifted into better economic conditions will rush out to buy original art, even in local tent fairs during the warmer months, all artists will feel the consequences.

Higher taxes for the rich at a time when the country is falling into a recession could result in many changes in the art world.

Some changes are already being felt thanks to the lay-offs on Wall Street, where collecting art is popular. Recent auctions and fairs in the USA and abroad have revealed a decline in collector’s dollars and buying power.

Everyone who lives or does business in NYC is sure to feel the squeeze of the recent announcement by Mayor Bloomberg of higher taxes and the cuts in services. A good part of the problem for the city stems from the tax base being lower due to the recession and changes on Wall Street and in the financial markets. When Obama’s plan to tax the rich goes into effect, what will be the result for this city?

The art community has become an international one. Artists have always moved about fairly freely, while dealers and gallerists tend to congregate in hubs that are city and then community based. For instance, NYC is considered to be the center of the art world while the neighborhood hubs have shifted from Soho to Chelsea and now apparently there is a move towards the Bowery.

Successful artists, those making incomes beyond Obama’s do-not-get-taxed-more ceiling can live anywhere and produce art. If taxes are increased, cost of living increases while services go down, will artists remain in New York City or move elsewhere, even out of the country?

Many of the most successful galleries have branches in other international cities. If a gallery’s London branch can sell the work of a represented artist for the same price but be taxed less, wouldn’t it make business sense to handle the sale that way? Of course, this kind of dealing would take tax revenues away from NYC and the USA. Yet it is legal.

Will galleries remain? With art fairs and new galleries opening in cities throughout the world, why remain in NYC or the USA if it costs more to do business there? Why place artworks at auction in NYC when the same International collector who will buy the work will do so wherever it is auctioned, since he is bidding over the phone?

The news from Miami is that there are fewer parties and events scheduled for the periods surrounding Art Basel Miami and the satellite fairs. Plus, the patties and events scheduled are less costly than in previous years. Clearly when restaurants, hotels, part planners, caterers, florists, local luxury transportation, etc. make less money it affects the local economy. It will also affect the collectors who come to the fairs to see and buy art but also to meet and greet and party. Is the cut back in Miami something that will be experienced during the NYC fairs? If so, will less lavish partying result in fewer collectors attending from out of town?

Art remains one of the best investments around if—and it is a big IF – the collector invests in an artist whose work will rise in value. Even during difficult times artists will be discovered and their works will become more valuable. After the last recession collectors who owned works by the new art stars became far richer, as did the galleries that represented these artists.

However, what is to prevent a collector from moving their art out of the country to where the taxes will be lighter when a piece is sold or auctioned?

Perhaps President elect Obama and Mayor Bloomberg will devise ways to encourage and support fine art, galleries and collecting that will help the USA retain its current status as the center of the art world and market. Aside from the obvious wisdom of encouraging our culture, the art market in the USA helps create jobs, tourism and promotes the cultural leadership of the USA.

On a non-partisan basis, I urge you to contact (write) the office of President Elect Barack Obama, Mayor Bloomberg, your representatives in local, state and national government and suggest that a plan be devised in relation to taxing fine art sold on the USA that will help preserve the position of the USA as the international center of art and its market.  Email or send your friends this article, post it at social sites, write articles like this too your own blogs — in short take action now!

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Judy Rey Wasserman is an artist and the founder of Post Conceptual Art theory and also the branch known as UnGraven Image Art at ungravenimage.com.

Post Conceptual UnGraven Image Art theory is based at the intersection of ancient spiritual wisdom and cutting-edge contemporary science. It shows us a new and enhanced spiritual and science-based way to see the world. It is a life changing vision that can even become an actual new way of seeing that is a fulfillment of biblical prophecy. Can this be true? See for yourself.

Check out the Fine Art Limited Edition prints, decorative prints, books, and printables that are currently available to you through Judy Rey’s Art of Seeing The Divine Shop. You don’t have to buy to avail yourself of the art and inspiration available there. However, if you select to collect investment quality archival art, or decorate your home with images created with strokes that are original letters from Bible texts, or buy a gift for someone special, there is a secure shopping cart that accepts most credit cards so your purchase is easy to accomplish. https://artofseeingthedivine.com.

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One Reply to “Will Obama Change the Art Market?”

  1. Interesting to find this forward-thinking statement as I was researching post-conceptual art. The materialistic consequences of the general tax reform are likely to be much as predicted in this piece. From the heading I expected to find discussion of what art trends and expressions will be fostered or reflected by the Obama White House. Will there be a fostering of art comparable to the murals, photography and regional histories that came about through FDR’s Public Works Administration? In the long range role of art in society, especially in the US as an international leader, the opportunities far outweigh commerical and marketing considerations. Meaning trumps money every time.

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