“If you had $5 million of cash you wanted to invest in artworks, what artists would you try to acquire?”, tweeted @ArtTactic, on November 26, 2012.
This Twitter account represents ArtTactic.com, which is a website that reports on art market news and analysis. Their tweets represent the website, often sharing a link to an article or reports. So, the majority of their followers are interested in the art market, and many are artists.
I’m @judyrey, also an artist. I quickly ReTweeted this great question, hoping to add to @ArtTactic‘s responses. What would others buy if they could, and why? Prompted by mu urging (as I was going to blog on the results), @arttactic tweet a new version of the next day, and then RT’d them again.
Including me, thirty-five people answered the question. According to their Twitter bios, the overwhelming majority of are artists.
@ArtTactic retweeted (RT) all of the tweets, which helped me to count them, gather the data, and capture part of their Twitter stream for the image below. You can still answer the question by adding a comment below.
It is a boon for investors culling over this material that the answers are coming from artists here, not advisers or dealers, because genuine information from from this group is rare. Artists are not thought of as authorities on the art market — it is not their role.
Yet, artists who are revered or inspire many the next generation artists often end up as the next blue chip artists, so discovering who is influencing or revered by emerging artists is helpful investing information. The current exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art: Regarding Warhol Sixty Artists, Fifty Years, attests to the importance of an artist’s influence. In case you have not been watching the recent art auctions, the prices of Warhol’s paintings continue to rise, making him one of the most expensive artists to collect.
Personally, I would have tweeted that I would buy a Warhol painting, if I wasn’t certain that $5 million would fail to bring one home to me.
So instead I Tweeted Johns, Kiefer and if I could also swing it a Twombly, even knowing that a significant Johns with numbers would wipe out my entire budget, if I was lucky enough to get a deal. I would need to acquire smaller works from each of these artists, if I collected all three with my $5 million.
Richter and Twombly tied for first place, with three mentions each. Second place, with two votes each, is a three way split between Kiefer, Koons and Lichtenstein.
Clearly some of the responses came from people who had no idea of what art by various artists, such as Monet, would really cost, or were not focused on what artists would be a good investment. Yet, no one mentioned Hirst, whose market is reported variously in the art news sources to have notably fallen from a peak prior to the recession. Of course, the prices for many mid-career artists fell at that time and have failed to fully recover, but Hirst is the one who is most above the radar. Yet, unlike Hirst, second place winners Koons, Kiefer and Twombly, who are all also represented by the Gagosian Gallery (@Gagosian), have seen prices for their works rise at auction.
Only one person thought of commissioning a work, Leonor Leite (@LeonorLeiteM), “With $5 million I would commission my own portrait by John Currin, (@BelmaczMayfair) would $5M be enough money? #Cheers”
kj @kjoftherock tweeted, “Any Modigliani, first. Van Gogh letter sketches next. Esp. Girl Near Stove Grinding Coffee.”
Since Vincent van Gogh always is my favorite artist and greatest artistic influence (his ideas) I would happily follow and revise my original idea, except I am not sure of the idea as a good investment. A safe investment for sure! But, will a sketch in a letter by van Gogh rise proportionately the way I believe a work by Jasper Johns will?
Below is a screenshot of the later Tweets. You can add your ideas in the comments.
If you had $5 million of cash you wanted to invest in artworks, what artists would you try to acquire?”
Note: A special thanks to Adam Green, who tweets for @ArtTactic and originated the tweet and by RTing the replies helped my gain the data for this blog.
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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.
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.