Blue Chip Art
August 9, 2019
A great article about investing in art published by Stock Investor (online magazine). As explanation why I, an artist, would be browsing investing news, my excuse is it was by chance. I have an automated Google search for art+las+vegas, which turns up all kinds of unexpected results, and now-and-then, a find I would not have found otherwise. It is a long article. That is unusual in itself because the subjects of art and speculating for gain are divergent. It is not good for artists to think about money. Time is money and art is long. The article clearly has financial speculators in mind (not artists), those who admit to liking art, and may wish to combine inclinations. The recent Palms Casino make-over is cited for its best-practices approach to acquiring art as both asset and marketing buzz. In other words, the entire property is worth more than the sum of its assets, a going concern, not for liquidation, but for possible sale for more than it cost to build. The works of art are even for sale! Inquire within. But then, what doesn’t come with a price in a casino, a mind-bending proposition in itself? The writer interviews several key players. They are candid about the chance of success. I heartily assent to the proven advice to art investors to buy the work of “mid-career artists,” that is, living artists, as opposed to “blue chip” artists, artists who are not necessarily old (dead) masters, but artists whose value has peaked. The bottom line is no different than it is for stocks. In 2004, a Google share initially went for $85. What is it worth today? Not every venture is as wildly successful as Google, but neither is now the time to buy Google. It must be said, by analogy, now is not the time to buy Warhol. It is time to buy living artists, and, in so doing, add value to their work.