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Global recession hasn’t reached the art world yet

While the recession may be hurting economies across the globe, it seems that art collectors have not heard about the downturn. Just this week at two separate New York art sales collectors purchased works that totaled up to £620 million. In fact, during the week new world records were set for the highest artwork ever to be sold at an auction. In addition, records for the highest auction total and most valuable work by a living artist at auction were also set.

London based art market editor Melanie Gerlis for the Art Newspaper stated that she loves the essence of the art market but still has a hard time conceptualizing how paintings can be sold for such a high amount. She added that this is basically the billionaires of the art market having some fun now because the market belongs to the super rich who are playing with their money.

This past Tuesday the Francis Bacon painting There Studies of Lucian Freud set records when it sold for $148m in New York at Christies following a quick six minute bidding match. This was over twenty million more than the former record holder Edvard Munch. At the same sale, Balloon Dog a sculpture by Jeff Koons managed to go for $58.4 million which is twenty million more than what anyone has ever paid for a work by an artist that is still living.

Sotheby’s also set some records at their Wednesday sale when seven artists including paintings by Andy Warhol and Cy Twombly went for a high total amount. The Warhol alone went for $105 million which was $30 million more than the highest price that has been paid for a Warhol painting yet. Asian buyers are thought to be propelling a lot of the higher sales although many of the buyers are anonymous.Global recession hasn’t reached the art world yet


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