There are two sides to every story: the heroes, who fight for the righteous and the good and they always have their happy ending, and the villains whose only desire is winning, but they chose the wrong side, signing off their fate to failure. Who could be considered the Prince Charming in this enchanted forest that is the art market? And is there an Evil Queen too?
Maybe a contemporary artist like Jeff Koons who has sold six of his works at more than 10 milions dollars in 2014 (reaching the prices of Picasso) could may be considere a hero. His turnover dubbled in 12 months. With him there is Jean-Michel Basquiat, Peter Doig, Christopher Wool and Martin Kipperbenger. Are they all heroes in this story or are these sales symbols of the contemporary art market excesses? By this way the heroes wolud become villains and the roles wolud be turned upside down.
So who are the true heroes? As the Annual Report of Artpirce shows, some young artists all under 35 are already stars coveted by the most prestigious cultural institutions and the most powerful auction operators. In market demand terms, the top performing artists in this new generation are Tauba Auerbach, Lucien Smith, Alex Israel, Oscar Murillo, David Ostrowski, Jacob Kassay, Israel Lund, Dan Rees, and Parker Ito. What have these new heroes in common apart from the youth? They are from the same enchanted realm! They all live in the USA or the UK, the two primary focal points of the Western art market. Although undeniably talented, their success owes much to the right connections at the right time, and to the advantages of a solid network of influence right from the start of their careers.
The situation is not so different in the Eastern countries. The art market of a thousand and one nights was constantly seeking new areas for growth, with the changing focus of contemporary art auctions from bestselling, highest priced artists to young ones. Until 2012 young artists were not as hot as they are today. Since auction houses and exhibition platforms are actively making promotional efforts and old resources continue to be in short supply over the latest two years, 2014 has become crucial for a boom in the young artists market.
Indeed these young heroes are winning and they will have their happy ending soon. However the young artists of today will be the on the higher flyers listed of tomorrow, entering in that close-knit circle of the art market excesses. And here we are. The Evil Queen rearers her head. Every talented artist sooner or later enters his bubble and sells his work for millions and millions of dollars and then vanishes into thin air. The reasons why it happens are not clear. It maybe due to the rich collector’s insatiable thirst, the big auction houses deep desire for prosperity, the trend at the moment, or perhaps, like in the best fairy tales, the art market is just the spinning-wheel curse that will eventually prick you and burst your bubble. Perhaps in this case the kiss of true love might not be enough.
Credits: featured image Lana Parrilla in Once Upon A Time TV Series by http://pixgood.com