Art Market Predictions for 2024 – A Peek into the Future

Happy New Year! As we kick off 2024, I’m excited to share that Artnet News has included my thoughts in their recent article “5 Top Art Advisors on How the Art Market Could Change in 2024.”

In it, I discuss the current buyer’s market and the opportunities it brings. If you’re curious about what lies ahead, how to navigate the uncertainties, or if you’re considering strategic moves in your art portfolio, I’d love to chat. 

Feel free to explore the article here, and let me know if you’d like to schedule a conversation.

Here’s to a year filled with discovery and successful acquisitions!


Interview: collectors speak to the value of engaging an art advisor

Both established and aspiring art collectors wonder about the benefits of working with an art advisor. This interest tends to peak just after an art fair such as the prestigious Art Basel Miami Beach, a whirlwind international event that concluded this past Sunday. Art fairs, with their confusing floor plans and opaque pricing, can indeed be challenging to navigate.

I’ve written previously about The Value of Art Advisory, but I believe collectors can best speak to the advantage of working with a professional. 

Recently, the Association of Professional Art Advisors (APAA) talked with clients of mine in a conversation that shed light on this relationship. The insightful interview is now on the APAA website, offering a glimpse into our remarkable partnership in a five-year collecting journey through their homes in Miami, Manhattan, and the Hamptons.

My clients discuss the foundations of our relationship—open communication and trust. They also share how our collaboration has elevated their art-collecting, from expanded knowledge and exclusive access to expert analysis and time-saving conveniences. I encourage you to read the dialogue, and to ask me any questions you might have as a result.

Explore the full APAA Client Spotlight here.


Crain Currency Interview: How to get ready for Art Basel

Art Basel Miami Beach opens to VIPs next Wednesday, and Crain Currency helps you get on top of it in a great interview about the fair with…me! I share insights I’ve gathered from attending every edition since its inception in 2002. 

You’ll learn my suggestions for navigating the fair efficiently and comfortably, what the current buyer’s market means, and how I get clients early access to the most popular works. If you’re going to the fair, it’s a quick read that I hope will make your Art Basel experience fruitful—and enjoyable!

Karen Boyer on Art Basel Miami Beach


Navigating changes in today’s art market

After two years of exuberance during the pandemic, the art market has entered a period of correction, which offers challenges but also creates opportunities. Both are important to understand.

Looking at the challenges, a recent Artnet Intelligence Report revealed a 14% drop in global fine art auction sales, reaching just under $5 billion, in the first five months of 2023. This shift is marked by less frenzied bidding and more rational pricing. Notably, the ultra-high-end segment has been hit hardest, with sales above $10 million declining by 51% amid limited supply of top-tier works. Ultra-contemporary art sales also dipped by 26% from 2022, reflecting cooled speculation. In contrast, the $100,000 to $1 million range experienced an 18% year-over-year increase, showing strength and depth of bidding.

A journalist covering the Artnet report contacted me for my thoughts about the evolving preferences of collectors, quoting me in the piece. “When the market was frothier, people were buying just the name. And now people are looking at the quality,” I said.

But amidst this market correction, a window of opportunity has emerged to acquire high-quality art at reasonable prices. Savvy buyers can discover attractive price adjustments, indicating sellers’ acknowledgment of the end of the overheated sellers’ market. Whether you’re new to collecting or adding to an existing collection, I can offer guidance on this shifting terrain. Please contact me if you want my insight. 

Additionally, I’m looking forward to starting the fall season at The Armory Show at NYC’s Javits Center from September 7-10. With over 225 galleries from more than 35 countries, this international art fair is a must-attend. If you’re in town, I’d be delighted to connect and explore the fair together.


Art in Miami (the other 360 days of the year)

Most everyone has heard of Art Basel, Miami Beach. But those new to Miami —residents, snowbirds, and tourists alike — might be wondering if there’s any art to see the rest of the year. The answer is a resounding “Yes!”

Even though many of you see me regularly in New York City, and some of you see me all over the world, I’ve been a Miami resident for 5 years and have been pleasantly surprised by how much art is easily accessible — if you know where to look. There are also great artists and amazing collectors living here. 

I’ve become well-acquainted with Miami’s vibrant, creative offerings and am always happy to help people navigate our thriving art scene. Below are some of my favorite spots, including the Institute of Contemporary Art Miami (ICA), where I co-chair a collector’s group, and Locust Projects, an alternative art space where I serve on the board. 

I also have some favorite under-the-radar, off-the-beaten-path places not listed here. Let me know if you or a friend would like the low-down!

Piero Atchugarry, 5520 NE 4th Ave, Miami, FL 33137
David Castillo, 3930 NE 2nd Ave, Ste 201, Miami, FL 33137
Central Fine, 1224 Normandy Dr, Miami Beach, FL 33141
Emerson Dorsch, 5900 NW 2nd Ave, Miami, FL 33127
Dot Fiftyone, 7275 NE 4th Ave, Suite 101, Miami, FL 33138
Nina Johnson, 6315 NW 2nd Ave, Miami, Florida 33150
Jupiter, 1217 71st St, Miami Beach, FL 33141
LnS Gallery, 2610 SW 28th Lane, Miami FL 33133
Primary, 7410 NW Miami Court, Miami, FL 33150
Fredric Snitzer, 1540 NE Miami Court, Miami, FL 33132
Mindy Solomon, 848 NW 22nd St, Miami, FL 33127
Spinello Projects, 2930 NW 7th Ave, Miami, FL 33127    

Public Museums
ICA, 61 NE 41st St, Miami, FL 33137
PAMM, 1103 Biscayne Blvd, Miami, FL 33132
The Bass, 2100 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139

Private Collections (open to the public)
de la Cruz Collection, 23 NE 41st St. Miami, FL 33137
El Espacio 23, 2270 NW 23rd St, Miami, FL, 33142
Margulies Warehouse, 591 NW 27th St, Miami, FL 33127
Rubell Museum Miami, 1100 NW 23 St, Miami, FL 33127

Fountainhead, 690 NE 56th St, Miami, FL 33137
Locust Projects, 297 NE 67th St, Miami, FL 33138
Oolite Arts, 924 Lincoln Rd, 2nd FL, Miami Beach, FL 33139


Looking back and planning forward

Happy New Year!  

Today’s New York Times reports that economic growth in the US remained “solid” at the end of last year, and I can say the same about the art market. While it did cool slightly toward the end of the year, 2022 set a record for my clients. Their buying remained steady, and the selectivity of other collectors offered new opportunities for them to access works by the most in-demand artists. Whether new or seasoned, my clients reaped the benefits of hesitancy in the market and acquired many great artworks.  

I’ve also seen a busy start to 2023, and though talk of recession lingers, optimistic voices are getting louder. No one knows what will happen, but I am prepared to help my clients take advantage of any deals that come my way.

So for now, it’s business as usual, and I have a fun lineup of art fair visits if you’d like to meet me:

· February 16-19: Frieze, Los Angeles
· April 13-16:  EXPO Chicago
· April 20-23:  Dallas Art Fair
· May 11-14: Independent New York
· May 11-16: TEFAF New York
· May 17-21:  Frieze New York 
· May 18-21: NADA New York  
· June 13-18:  Art Basel, Basel


Strong pre-sale numbers point to a healthy fall market

As summer comes to an end, art watchers are anxiously awaiting signs of what the upcoming season will bring. I don’t have a crystal ball, but despite the volatility of the stock market and rising inflation, the art market still seems strong. 

September starts with a burst of activity in the first two weeks: the inaugural Frieze Seoul (September 2 – 5) followed by the Armory Show and Independent in New York (September 8 – 11). 

In advance of the fairs, galleries send out lists to their top clients and art advisors of the works they will be selling, and they are happy to sell before the openings. I’ve received a great number of these fair previews revealing that even in this economic climate, many of the works are already sold or on hold. I’ve also received countless previews for upcoming gallery exhibitions from all over the world, and it’s amazing how much art is already sold or on hold. This is all very promising.

These behind-the-scenes, before-the-fairs sales are an interesting phenomenon—and good to know about as you become a more serious collector. If a client wants to think about an acquisition and/or see a work in person, a gallery will often put a work on hold for a short period of time. For an exhibition, clients normally have until the opening, when they can see the work in person. For an art fair, clients are typically given one hour from the opening to see a work in person—which is not a lot of time, especially at a big art fair where more than one work might be on hold. Galleries also often have more than one hold on a work, and it’s not uncommon for #2 to be standing in a booth waiting for #1 to decide. No pressure!

This competitive atmosphere has been further accentuated by the strength of the art market in the past two years, due in part to wealth creation, new entrants and new homes. A shocking number of artists, including many who were unknown until recently, have “waiting lists,” with the galleries constantly rearranging the order as they see fit. 

In addition, galleries often send out previews indicatingthat they are “taking interest” to see who wants what, before they decide who is lucky enough to take a piece home. It shouldn’t be a surprise that if a hopeful buyer doesn’t have a pre-existing relationship with the gallery, they don’t have much of a chance.

Due to all of this interest, galleries sometimes advise collectors that they have a better chance of acquiring a work if they buy two and donate one to a museum – a practice referred to as “BOGO”: Buy One, Gift One.   

Needless to say, the art market has become harder to navigate for those without good gallery relationships or a plugged-in art advisor. It will be interesting to see what happens the remainder of this year. But whether all of this sounds exciting or daunting, it’s definitely maneuverable—so don’t give up!

Here is my fair schedule for the rest of 2022 if you’d like to accompany me:

·      The Armory Show, New York: September 8 – 11

·      Independent, New York: September 8 – 11

·      SWAB, Barcelona: October 6 – 9

·      Frieze London, London: October 12 – 16

·      Paris+ par Art Basel, Paris: October 19 – 23

·      Art Basel, Miami: November 29 – December 3


Market update: good news

As the world slowly pulls out of the pandemic, the art market remains hot. Sales by dealers and auction houses in 2021 were up 29% from 2020, reaching $65.1 billion, according to the recently published Art Basel and UBS Global Art Market Report. Given the constant requests and quick sales that I saw last year, and which continue today, I’m not surprised.

It’s clear that the art world has been able to adapt to changing circumstances. The wealthy have become wealthier in recent years, too, and are spending more money: some are buying more expensive artworks, others are buying art for the very first time.

Many of these first-time buyers are starting with NFTs, which were included in the Art Basel/UBS Report for the first time. The market for art-related NFTs grew more than 100-fold in 2021, with most of the transactions taking place outside of the traditional art market with a shocking average holding period of only 30 days.

And as the traditional art market has tried to ignore NFTs, the market continues to draw new entrants despite, or maybe because of, its very speculative nature. Some of these include crossovers from the traditional art world. I have started strategically exploring NFTs with clients and welcome anyone who wants to be part of the conversation. 

But I’m heartened that viewing tangible art in person is still the norm. In fact, although I often heard art fair regulars in the past two years say they would not attend as many fairs once in-person events resumed, I have noticed quite the opposite trend. The incredible turnout at Frieze LA last month and the overall positive mood of the attendees – happy to be at a fair and interacting with each other – indicates that people can’t wait to get back on the circuit. I admit to being one of those people, and for those who would like to join, here is my fair schedule for the next few months:

April 7- 10:  EXPO Chicago

April 21 – 24:  Dallas Art Fair

May 5- 8:  NYC Fairs: TEFAF, NADA and Independent

May 18 – 22:  Frieze New York 

June 14 – 19:  Art Basel, Basel

Please don’t hesitate to be in touch with any art-related questions or requests!


Art market update, and the road ahead

The art market is hot. ArtTactic notes that global auction sales for Christie’s, Sotheby’s and Phillips are up 230% in the first half of 2021 over the same period in 2020 – totaling $5.9 billion and surpassing 2019’s $5.7 billion. And that doesn’t include private sales, which were more than $850 million at Christie’s, up 238% from 2019 and 41% from 2020, with similar increases at the other houses. 

As an art advisor, I’ve never had a busier year advising private clients, despite the need for videos and zooms to replace in-person viewings. Competition for what are considered the best artists is fierce, which is driving the high auction results and increased gallery sales. 

Gallery and auction house popups in summer destinations, including the Hamptons, Aspen and Monaco, have successfully followed the demand in a way that no one had considered pre-pandemic. I was in East Hampton last month, and in 3 contiguous storefronts where I used to window shop while waiting for a table at Babette’s were a Basquiat show, a Warhol show and a Judd show – something I never would have dreamed possible. And those were only a fraction of the art exhibitions in town.  

But as the summer comes to a close, art market participants are wondering what the landscape will look like for the rest of the year – myself included. I am cautiously optimistic and hope you are, too!  It promises to be an exciting season and (with appropriate precautions) there’s no time like the fall to have a look around. 

Right out of the gate, we have The Armory Show – the fair’s first edition since March 2020 – which opens to vaccinated and masked VIPs on September 9th. The fair will be followed on a weekly basis by multiple fairs and gallery weekends all over the world, thanks to postponements from earlier this year and pent-up demand from galleries and collectors alike. Crowds will be smaller due to limited capacities and a lingering hesitancy to visit in person, especially when it entails foreign travel. Consequently, the major fairs will still have online viewing rooms: the hybrid model is here to stay. 

On the auction front, the hybrid model will become the norm as well, with the auction calendar remaining a bit unpredictable due to the increasing number of online-only sales and the houses still out of sync for their big, now hybrid, sales. 

I still highly value seeing art in person and am planning to do so as much as I can, including (subject to travel restrictions) attending a number of fairs in a safe and protected manner. Here’s a list of highlights for the rest of the year:

·       The Armory Show, New York: September 9 – 12

·       Independent Art Fair, New York: September 9 – 12

·       Art Basel, Basel: September 21 – 26

·       SWAB, Barcelona: October 7-10

·       Frieze London, London: October 13 – 17

·       The Art Show, New York: November 3 – 7

·       Dallas Art Fair, Dallas: November 11 – 14

·       Art Basel, Miami: November 30 – December 4

Let me know if you’d like to meet me!


Education: an art advisor’s most important service

It’s probably no surprise that the questions I am asked most frequently are “What does an art advisor do?” and “How do I choose the right one?” For the second question, I gave my answers to Luxury Guide recently in a column of my top tips for hiring an art advisor (it’s in their Spring 2021/10th Anniversary issue, but you can find it quickly here.)

As for the first question, art advisors provide many services, but the most important one is education—and it’s more important now than ever. Galleries, fairs and auction houses are pushing out more digital content than was imaginable a year ago, which makes deciding what to buy especially challenging. I have always encouraged both novice and experienced collectors to look at a lot of art and ask questions before buying. Doing due diligence on artists, galleries and sales platforms is essential, and if you don’t have time to do it yourself, seek a qualified advisor to help you.

It’s also a good idea to stay on top of the business aspects of collecting, and I am looking forward to participating in three upcoming virtual panels on this topic. Details are:

·       April 29:  Selling & Consigning Artworks in the Era of Covid-19, hosted by the Federal Bar Association Virtual Art Law & Litigation Conference

·       May 7:  Collecting in the Twenty-First Century: What You Need to Know, hosted by the Museum Trustee Association 

·       May 22:  How to Work with an Art Advisor, hosted by Oolite Arts and moderated by President & CEO, Dennis Scholl

But the best learning tool is viewing art in person, whether it’s your first purchase or your 100th. That has been challenging in the past year, of course, but most galleries are now open, and art fairs are slowly beginning to resume in person. Most fairs will continue to offer online viewing rooms (OVRs), and it will be interesting to see how the hybrid model evolves.

My first (post-vaccine) in-person art fair will be Frieze New York at the Shed in Hudson Yards May 5 – 9.  The near byzantine registration process ensures strict health safety protocols, including timed ticket entry. If you would like to meet me there, please let me know very soon. 

I love my work and enjoy helping clients through the thrilling process of building their collections. If you would like more information about this or any other facet of the art business, I would be happy to speak with you anytime. 


Innovation: Art in 2021

With 2020 in the rear-view mirror, it’s natural to wonder if any of its effects on the art world might last into 2021. Historically, art insiders have been wary of change and resistant to technology, but now that most art fairs, galleries and auction houses have resorted to digital platforms out of necessity, it looks like there’s no turning back, even if only to enhance IRL (in real life) experiences.  

It started with the first online viewing rooms, which debuted following the cancellation of Art Basel Hong Kong last March, and since then, collectors have become more and more comfortable looking at and buying art online. I expect the sort of creativity inspired by the pandemic to continue—and to be embraced more quickly than in the past. 

In the last few months alone, I have been presented with a number of innovative business ideas, and we are seeing many already in action. For instance, a new disruptor called Museum Exchange just launched a digital platform to match collectors with museums in order to facilitate donations. I was recently interviewed for this New York Times article about the company, which is an interesting read.

There are also a number of new apps, such as Fair Warning, a high-profile auction platform which features just one lot per sale, with members swiping to bid right from their phones. 

And we are seeing a growing market for experiential art—for example, Pace Gallery’s “Superblue” endeavor, which will open its first location in Miami this spring.

So, while everyone I know is looking forward to the return of IRL events, the digitization of the art world that got us through the pandemic is here to stay, and it should make art more accessible and vital in the years to come. Hopefully, we can discuss new concepts over a glass of champagne in a VIP lounge soon!


Miami Art Week 2020

Good news for art lovers: there will be plenty of art to see up close, in person in Miami the first week of December. Despite the cancellation of Art Basel Miami Beach, it turns out that Miami has an art scene 365 days a year, and it’s an exciting one. So, if you live in South Florida or plan to visit during Miami Art Week, here’s what I recommend:

Art Fairs

Instead of the usual 20+ fairs, there will only be one this year. Design Miamireturns to its original home in the Moore Building in the Miami Design District. Opening to VIP guests on November 27 with timed entry and numerous safety protocols, the fair runs through December 6—which should give everyone a chance to go.

Miami Design District (MDD)

In conjunction with Design Miami, MDD will showcase a number of installations and pop-up galleries, including DeitchMitchell Innes & Nash and Salon 94.

Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) Miami has an Allan McCollum show worth your time—it’s the first retrospective of his work in the US, surveying five decades of his career.

The impressivede la Cruz Collection is open again to the public.

Locust Projects just opened a beautiful Mette Tommerup exhibition and will present a live performance on December 1 from 6:00 – 8:00 PM.

David Castillo will open a Vaugh Spann show on November 30 in his brand new gallery space.

Craig Robins, a Miami native, philanthropist and collector of art and design, as well as the principal owner and developer of MDD and a co-founder of Design Miami, will open his art-filled offices for private tours.

Around Town in Miami

Perez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) recently opened a powerful show of African and African Diaspora artists from the collection of Jorge Perez.

The Rubell Museum just rehung select galleries and is definitely worth the trip.

The Margulies Warehouse will offer extended hours and guided tours.

Fredric Snitzer will present what would have been his Art Basel booth.

Galerie Lelong will have an in-person viewing room of gallery artists at Museo Vault, December 3-4.

Clandestina, a new, young gallery, has a group show with several Miami-based artists. 

Other shows at local galleries include Melanie Daniel at Mindy Solomon, Gonzalo Fuenmayor at Dot Fiftyone, Frances Twombly atEmerson DorschRaven Halfmoon atBill BradyandRochelle Feinstein at Nina Johnson.

Miami Beach

The Bass offers provocative exhibitions from its permanent collection and will be opening an outdoor installation by Abraham Cruzvillegas on November 29. This will complement the ever-entertaining Art Outside program around the museum and Miami Beach. 

The art-forward Sagamore Hotel will have two exhibitions featuring exclusively Miami-based artists, opening December 2. Social distanced events include a Supper Club on December 2 and Brunch on December 5.

Oolite Arts has an interesting exhibition by artists from its notable residency program. 

Faena will unveil a site-specific installation by Alexandre Arrechea on November 29.

Soho Beach House will have various installations and talks.

And if that’s not enough, there’s always the beach! 

Feel free to contact me with any questions about the suggestions in this newsletter, or about Miami in general. And I’d love to connect with you if you’ll be in the area.


The Art World IRL

“Real, live, inspiring human energy exists when we coagulate together in crazy places like New York City,” Jerry Seinfeld, The New York Times

I agree with Jerry; NYC is far from ‘dead’ as some people claim. I have spent an invigorating week in the city walking, eating outside and seeing art. The mood is somewhat weather dependent, but on the whole, there is great energy in an art community that refuses to give up. All of the galleries are open, and I loved every minute of seeing exhibitions and talking to gallerists in person after many months of seeing them in little boxes on my computer. If you’d like to get out safely and feel human again – I highly recommend it – grab your mask and check out these shows:




Also, in case you missed it, Eileen Kinsella quoted me in her recent Artnet News article about the cancellation of this year’s Art Basel Miami Beach. Since then, there have been a number of exciting developments, which will form the basis of Miami Art Week 2020. Look for the rundown in my next Newsletter, although if you will be in Miami or want a preview, I am happy to discuss it anytime.


Good news: Art is still in demand

Fall is almost here, and the art world is buzzing about the renowned Art Basel and UBS Art Market Report, which was just published last week. Written by art economist Clare McAndrew, the report covers the first half of 2020 and offers insights that are especially interesting in the midst of the global pandemic.  

Not surprisingly, gallery sales were down 36% compared to the same period in 2019. As I’ve noted in my recent newsletters, the online sector is a significant focus for galleries, contributing 37% to sales in the first half of this year compared to 10% last year.

The collector statistics are more surprising: 59% said the pandemic has increased their collecting interest, and 92% said they have bought art this year. I personally have had a similar experience. While my business was quiet in mid-March, by the end of May my clients were re-engaging. Since then, I’ve been consistently closing deals – even throughout August, which is typically the slowest month for art sales.

What’s driving sales? Mainly it’s emerging optimism, boredom, addiction, being stuck at home looking at the same artworks (or, worse, at empty walls), and having more disposable income due to a strong stock market and the inability to spend money on much else for many months.

Looking ahead, the report found that 82% of collectors plan to attend art events in the next 12 months, with 57% hoping to go to events locally and abroad. Most galleries have reopened – with precautions – so if you feel comfortable, go take a look. Viewing art is good for the soul – and if you need suggestions on where to go, just let me know.


VIEW: My top picks for UNTITLED, ART Online

As I mentioned in my recent newsletter, UNTITLED, ART Online is the first virtual-reality art fair, and the realistic look and feel are quite impressive. The organizers asked me to share my top picks, which can help guide you. Open 24/7, the fair is on until Sunday and definitely worth a spin. Rumor has it the next version will have avatars, so stay tuned!


The Art World Presses Forward – Online​

As mega-gallerist David Zwirner recently said, “the future has arrived so much sooner.”  And there’s no better evidence of that than the current art fair calendar. Today is the VIP preview of a virtual fair called Intersect Aspen, and I am pleased to have been asked to share my top 10 picks. In addition, I participated in an interesting Zoom chat with the newly appointed Managing Director, Becca Hoffman, about the fair and the future.

Intersect Aspen was formerly Art Aspen, which celebrated its 10-year anniversary last year and typically hosts about 30 US exhibitors. This year, the fair has grown exponentially and includes an impressive roster of 110 international galleries from 28 countries. Participating in a digital platform such as this is attractive to galleries, since it is much more cost effective and will have many more attendees.

Globally, the vast majority of art fairs have taken place online since Art Basel Hong Kong in March, and they will do so for the next few months, at a minimum. Art Basel had another virtual fair in June, in lieu of what would have been the 50-year anniversary of the fair in Switzerland. And the next big, international fairs, Frieze London and TEFAF New York, were scheduled for October but announced recently that those too will be replaced by digital versions. 

But before then, UNTITLED, ART – best known as one of the top satellite fairs during Art Basel Miami Beach – is launching the first virtual-reality art fair on July 31st. Attendees will be able to walk the fair, view the booths in a realistic manner and transact directly on the website.

While no digital image can ever replace standing in front of a work of art, buying art remotely is becoming increasingly common. I’ve placed a number of works in this fashion in the last couple of months, and I expect this to continue until it is safe to resume our in-person endeavors. 

Please let me know if you’d like to talk about any of the fairs or other art-related topic.

Wishing you health and safety.


The State of the Art World Today

I hope this newsletter finds you and your family healthy and safe. I’m writing to update you on the state of the art world in the midst of COVID-19.

In the aftermath of the cancellation of global art fairs, the postponement of major auctions and the closure of galleries everywhere, the art world is struggling. Except for the well-funded mega-galleries, the majority of art world entities are small businesses or non-profits, many surviving on month-to-month sales or donations.

Virtual viewing – Art Basel Hong Kong (ABHK) was the first major fair to be canceled, and they quickly fast-tracked their development of online viewing rooms – a virtual art fair that lasted for 8 days and attracted 250,000 visitors. After a glitch at the opening, the technology worked fairly well. And even though sales were fewer than usual, collectors were still buying, which was encouraging for everyone.

Today, viewing and buying art online is our only option, and ABHK has provided an example for other fairs and galleries. Art is best seen and experienced in person, of course, but the online experience is an excellent alternative as the world self-isolates, and it provides the opportunity to support both artists and galleries.  

How to shop galleries – Countless galleries have launched their own online viewing rooms in the last week alone. So despite closed doors, galleries are all very much open for business. You may even receive a better price as galleries strive to support their artists and stay afloat. In addition, I’m sure they will remember who helped sustain them during this trying time. And while you are working from home – temporarily or potentially more permanently – look around at your walls and imagine what you would like to see!

Innovation is everywhere – Galleries, museums and other arts institutions are also delivering free online exhibitions, live-streamed gallery tours, artist interviews, more robust Instagram accounts, talks and other cyber ventures. All of this has been a wake-up call to enhance their online presence, whether their doors are open or not. And there is now the opportunity and even the necessity to divert resources to innovate and implement in this area.

Support still needed – Museums and arts institutions also need support now more than ever, through donations, shopping in their online stores or even ordering from museum restaurants. You can also be a vital supporter – in addition to boosting your mood and soothing your soul – by simply viewing exhibitions online. 

The art world will survive, but it might look very different on the other side of this without our timely assistance. 

I am available by email or phone if you’d like suggestions on where to look or if you have any other art-related questions.

Be well!


Karen Boyer on Art in Wealth Management, a Growing Trend


The global art market continues to strengthen, and wealth managers are paying attention. In fact, investment in this asset class is projected to increase by 66% during the next 10 years. According to the Deloitte 2017 Art & Finance Report, the estimated allocation to art and collectibles in 2016 was $1.62 trillion, and it is expected to reach $2.7 trillion by 2026. Christie’s alone sold over $4 billion in the first half of 2018 – up 35% from 2017 and its highest total ever. This includes the $835 million Rockefeller Estate sale, one of many single owner sales yet to come.

A recent article in South Florida Business and Wealth, “Art Emerges as Key Component in Wealth Portfolios,” discussed the growing interest in integrating art into wealth management strategies. The author, Sally-Ann O’Dowd, consulted with me in her research, and I’m happy to see this evolution in investment thinking, as it’s a practice I’ve been encouraging for many years. Art is an asset and should be treated like any other asset.

For wealth managers, knowing about their client’s art collections and collecting habits not only assists them in having a complete picture, but also gives them other touchpoints. For example, on the portfolio management side, wealth managers provide liquidity through loans secured by art. The Deloitte report estimates that this market reached $17-20 billion in the US in 2017, up 13.3% from 2016. And on the social side, they entertain their clients and become involved in their clients’ passions by partnering with art fairs and hosting events. All major art fairs are now sponsored by financial institutions, which benefits everyone involved.

Some upcoming fairs to put on your calendar (dates include VIP days) are:

– EXPO Chicago, September 27-30, sponsored by Northern Trust

– Frieze London, October 3-7, sponsored by Deutsche Bank

– Art Basel Miami Beach, December 5-9, sponsored by UBS

For more information on the above, or for a wealth manager recommendation, please contact me.


Reflections on the Art Market


Before the art world’s annual August slowdown, I want to share some thoughts on the current state of the contemporary art market.

The high end of the art market has picked up from last year, and 2017 has been quite active thus far. Art market players are the most optimistic they’ve been in recent years, thanks in part to solid results from major auctions around the world and record-setting sales by a number of artists. In addition, Art Basel in Switzerland, the most upscale and important contemporary art fair of the year, took place last month, and by all accounts – dealers, collectors and the media alike – sales were brisk and the mood was extremely positive. In fact, competition was fierce for the top works, high price tags notwithstanding.

Looking further down the market, a trend I mentioned in my January 2017 newsletter continues: looking back to rediscover overlooked and undervalued artists. This is helping the middle market, which is also stronger because many collectors are bypassing the perceived risk of purchasing emerging artists and focusing more on mid-career artists with proven track records. These are artists who also have more support from institutions and influential collectors.

Unfortunately, this shift, coupled with the exit of emerging artist speculators (see my April 2016 newsletter) means that the lower end is suffering.  And a number of galleries are closing, which is causing many to rethink how artists will be discovered and how art will be sold. Currently, the smaller galleries identify new artists, bring them to market and groom them until they move on to bigger galleries.  If the smaller galleries disappear, it’s unclear how this process will work. And if fewer artists enter the gallery fray, competition at all levels will increase.

I firmly believe that art can be a good investment when it is acquired wisely. However, I think some collectors are losing sight of what buying art is all about. It’s not purely a transaction; it’s about looking and learning and enjoying the ride. And at the end of the day, it’s about having something you love hanging on your walls. So please do the art world and yourself a favor and go to galleries, especially the smaller ones, and support the art ecosystem.

I look forward to seeing you this fall – or at the beach in August!


Art is an Investment, so Manage Yours Like a Pro


Recently, I participated in a lively panel on alternative investments for the Hedge Fund Roundtable. I’ve gathered some of the advice I offered about how to invest in art, which serves as a good checklist for new collectors. I firmly believe that you should buy what you love, but once you’ve identified a work that you love, then what? How should an art investment be treated? Here’s what I recommend – and do – for my clients.

Due Diligence: In the same way you analyze other investments prior to making an acquisition, do research on the artist: education, career, galleries, collectors, and museum exhibitions and acquisitions. This analysis can help determine if the price is correct and also the future liquidity potential of the piece.

Portfolio Construction: Identifying your goals and horizons will inform the types of art you buy. I always recommend a diversified portfolio of art to mitigate risk. If you want less risk, buy more established artists. If you are willing to take more risk, buy younger artists who are less proven but can have bigger payoffs. And if returns are not your driving force, buying what you love should carry more weight than museum exhibitions and other factors.

Protection: Taking care of your art is crucial, as any damage can greatly affect the value. Always use fine art shippers and handlers to move and install your art. They take extra care and know how to handle art, which can often be tricky. When storing your art, use fine art storage, which has humidity and temperature controls. If a work does get damaged, have a reputable conservator repair it right away. And get insurance – it’s not expensive (less expensive than jewelry because no one ever loses a painting in a gutter while walking down the street) and can often just be an additional rider on your homeowner’s policy.

Selling: Timing is everything, so it’s important to continually monitor the markets for your artists to gauge when the best selling opportunities arise. If you don’t pay attention, you can very well miss the ascent, the top and the descent. In addition, identifying your goals upfront will help determine if you should sell outright, do a 1031 exchange or donate the work to a museum or other institution. There are currently a number of tax benefits available that should be considered.

Following advice like this might sound time-consuming, but if you’re buying art as an investment, you should treat it like one. And if you are not an expert and don’t have the time or wherewithal to become an expert, you should consult with one as you would with any other investment.

Feel free to contact me with any questions about collecting or any art-related topics, including the next round of New York art fairs, which start tomorrow. Enjoy!


March in NYC: A Great Month for Seeing Art


There’s no substitute for seeing art in person – both for pleasure, and to add to your art education. And if you live in New York or will be visiting here in March, there are some key fairs, auctions and exhibitions that you should attend, the most notable of which are below.

Wednesday, March 1 is the private opening of The Armory Show, a prominent, international art fair that takes place every year on Piers 92 and 94 on the West Side Highway. This year, the Armory will host more than 200 galleries from 30 countries selling art ranging from established 20th century artists to young, emerging artists. The fair opens to the public on March 2 and runs through March 5. Art fairs are an efficient way to see a wide range of art under one roof. Prepare to have an open mind, ask questions, and take pictures, learning what you like – but also what you don’t.

Early March also brings auction house mid-season sales – Sotheby’s on March 2 and Christie’s on March 3. These auctions are not as big or headline-grabbing as the main sales in May and November, but they still present fabulous opportunities to educate yourself on various artists and types of art. Prior to the sales, the auction houses have several days of viewings, which are free and open to the public.

Also in March is the opening of the Whitney Biennial, a survey of American contemporary art, which takes place every other year and is one of the leading exhibitions in the art world. This will be the first edition in the museum’s new home in the Meatpacking District. Preview days are March 15 and 16, and the exhibition is open to the public from March 17 – June 11. Artists range from emerging to established, presenting another great opportunity to get ideas and also an understanding of what is happening right now in the art world.

This year, I will miss the Biennial opening in order to attend Art Dubai, an international art fair with a large concentration of galleries from the Middle East. I am excited to learn more about art from the region and am taking my own advice – going to see it in person!

A note about art fairs If you are considering purchasing art at a fair, take a quick look at the newsletter I wrote on the subject: When are Art Fairs the Right Place to Buy Art? In short, fairs are a good place to buy art if you are experienced and prepared, meaning you’ve looked at a lot of art previously. They are not good venues for an impulse purchase.

As always, I welcome any inquires. And if you’re interested in touring any of the upcoming fairs with me, I would love to show you around – but please contact me soon, as my schedule is filling up. Happy hunting – and learning!


Bring on 2017


It’s hard to believe that another year has come and gone, but the new calendar presents a great moment for reassessing the art market, which has seen some volatility in the past few years. The good news is that there are always opportunities if you know how to look. The current environment is less robust than in recent years, but the art market remains active. The last two months of auctions and art fairs indicate that there are still a large number of people buying art.

Trends worth noting are:

•  Global economic uncertainty is causing collectors to focus on more established, blue-chip artists: an art world flight to quality.

•  Many collectors, galleries and museums are on the hunt, looking back and rediscovering overlooked and undervalued artists.

•  A shift away from the more uncertain emerging artist market means there is less competition to acquire the best ones.

And with the New Year comes a celebration: 2017 marks the seventh anniversary of Elements in Play. As most of you know, I founded my art advisory service with private clients in New York City. But in the intervening years, I have expanded the business globally and have also taken on corporate clients and real estate developers in New York and Miami. It’s much more than I expected, and all of it continues to be stimulating and rewarding. Thank you for your encouragement, your support, and your referrals. Here’s to the New Year!

Follow me on Instagram at elementsinplay.


5 Tips For Attending an Art Fair – REDUX


Art Basel Miami Beach and numerous other art fairs open next week in Miami, and in anticipation, I am frequently asked for tips on attending a fair. I previously wrote a newsletter with my top 5 recommendations, and that advice has stood the test of time:

1. Look at the floorplan. Art fairs tend to be quite large, and they can be tricky to navigate. It is easy to turn the wrong direction, even if the layout is mostly a grid. Some booths have entrances on two aisles, and if you go in one side and out the other, you can get completely turned around. Floorplans are available at fair entrances and often can be downloaded beforehand from fair websites. It is a good idea to mark where you’ve been to orient yourself and also because galleries often reinstall portions of their booths from day to day, which confuses even the most seasoned fairgoers.

2. Wear comfortable shoes. I know everyone likes to be stylish, especially surrounded by fabulous works of art and people, but you won’t be able to see much of the art or focus on it if your feet hurt. At a minimum, bring a spare pair of shoes. You’ll thank me. You might also want to bring a supply of Band-Aids and Advil.

3. Bring extra money (cash) and patience for lunch. Art fairs are starting to expand and improve their food offerings, but in general, lunch at a fair is underwhelming, expensive and time consuming. The lines for food are particularly long during the VIP Preview, particularly in the VIP Lounge. Alternate suggestions are to eat before you go, bring a snack or plan in advance where to eat outside of the fair – most fairs are not well-situated to other food choices. And bring a bottle of water.

4. If you want to buy art, plan your visit in advance. As previously indicated, art fairs are generally big and crowded, which can make them overwhelming if you are “shopping”. Purchasing art at fairs can also be quite competitive, so it’s best to be prepared by knowing what galleries you want to visit and, if possible, what particular works of art you want to see. The best works are often sold in the opening hours.

5. Go with your Art Advisor. The easiest way to prepare for an art fair is to have a professional do it for you. An Art Advisor will often know in advance what galleries are bringing and can put desired works on hold. An Advisor will also be familiar with the layout, so you can look more efficiently and maximize your time. And an Advisor will be able to answer questions, explain different works of art and evaluate prices.

Feel free to contact me with additional questions or if you would like more information on any of the fairs.


The Sky Is NOT Falling


Last week, I received an email from a client with the subject “Art Crash.” The email was a link to an alarmist Bloomberg story describing the current state of the emerging artist market as one in which flipping, particularly at auction, is no longer profitable. To that, the vast majority of the art world breathes a sigh of relief, but to those only skimming the headlines, it sounds as if the sky is falling. Marion Maneker from Art Market Monitor wrote an intuitive rebuttal article explaining that, “The headline is about works being sold for 90% losses, but that’s only a shock to anyone who doesn’t follow the art market at all. Emerging artists have always been risky acquisitions… Few artists have seen their markets rise steadily without pullbacks.”

My April 2016 newsletter covered the topic of emerging artists, and I want to reiterate here that investing in art requires portfolio management like any other investment. I recommend buying a mix of emerging and established artists. Almost everyone buying art wants it to be an asset, but they don’t want it to behave like one. Unfortunately, you can’t have it both ways.

In addition, the work described in the Bloomberg and Art Market Monitor articles sold above the high estimate at Phillips a few days later (September 20, 2016), which is less than the want-to-be flipper bought it for – the seller at the time got out at the high – but still much more than the original owner paid for it in 2012. Timing is everything, and it helps to have a realistic view of the market.


Today’s Art Market: Performance Update


As we begin the second quarter amidst global economic uncertainty, the media continues to report that the art market bubble is bursting. The problem with this reporting, and the reason it can be confusing or unnecessarily alarming, is that there are so many different art markets – defined by type of art and price point – and they are not all behaving the same way. I’d like to walk you through some of them and give you my perspective on where things stand today.

Most of these bubble-is-bursting news stories refer to the auction market for Impressionist & Modern and Contemporary art in the tens or hundreds of millions of dollars range, which has statistically slowed down due in no small part to the diminishing quality of works for sale. Interestingly, the press also recently reported that billionaire hedge fund manager Ken Griffin spent $500 million on just two paintings (no, that’s not a typo) in one of the world’s largest private transactions. I am guessing it wasn’t a distressed sale.

Many are also wondering if a bubble is bursting, or if we are experiencing a correction. But If you are interested in contemporary art in the $10,000 – $5 million range, the conversation is very different.

In the primary market (the first time art is sold – from galleries or directly from artists), the pace has slowed somewhat, but this can be advantageous. Buyers have become more discriminating and are being more thoughtful about their collecting. Art fair openings are less frenzied, giving collectors more time to make better decisions. Yet demand is absolutely still there. Many gallery booths still sell out in the opening hours, and there are still waiting lists for the most popular artists.

In the emerging artist space, the past few years have brought an influx of speculators that were snapping up artworks at a record pace. But flipping art made by artists with no track records turned out to be a bad investment strategy for the vast majority of those buyers, so most have left this market, slowing sales to a reasonable pace. It’s great to buy emerging artists, and with educated choices, there are certainly opportunities to make money, but it requires portfolio management – just like any other investment. There is less risk buying fewer names of more established artists, and I typically advise clients to buy a mix. I am seeing a big trend toward trading out of younger names and into mid-career and blue chip artists.

In the secondary market (resales), global uncertainty would logically result in good deals, but there are presently very few to be had. In fact, good works are even priced on the high side. I get the sense that sellers are happy to wait for their asking prices; they have little incentive to cash out right now due to a lack of better investment opportunities.

Early May will be an important indicator for many art markets. The main auction houses have their big New York Impressionist & Modern and Contemporary sales. And the Frieze New York art fair will return to Randall’s Island, along with several smaller fairs dotting the city.

In short, there are many art markets, a range of opportunities, and numerous great artists to be collected. If you have questions about what I’m seeing in the markets, or if I can be helpful during the auctions or fairs, please don’t hesitate to contact me.


The Value of Art Advisory


Anyone can walk into a gallery and buy a work of art, but now that Sotheby’s has paid an astonishing $85 million ($50 million in cash) for a boutique art advisory firm, people are asking what art advisors actually do. The answers are endless, and the process of building a collection goes far beyond finding a painting that’s in proportion to the couch. While it’s important that art look good in a home, there are many factors that savvy collectors take into account and numerous benefits that art advisors bring to the table.

Expert Advice: Education and idea generation are just two of many benefits that art advisors offer their clients. Most collectors, no matter how seasoned, don’t have unlimited time to walk around galleries and art fairs on their own. An advisor will review a range of images with a client to help them determine what they like, narrow appropriate options, then efficiently recommend works to fit the client’s tastes and budgets. If clients are concerned about a work retaining its value, or if they are buying for investment, advisors also perform due diligence on the artists, their careers, market comparables and any other considerations that are meaningful to the client.

Access: In sourcing works, advisors leverage their relationships with gallery owners, artists and private collectors to whom their clients would not otherwise have access. For example, popular artists have waiting lists at galleries, and new works are offered first to their best clients, which includes advisors. In addition, advisors negotiate deals on behalf of their clients and are generally offered better prices based upon their relationships.

Discipline: A competent advisor knows when to say “no,” helping clients build their collections with goals and guardrails in mind. An advisor might object to a work the collector doesn’t truly love, one that is too expensive, or one by an artist the advisor doesn’t believe in.

Collection Management: Acquiring works is just one aspect of building and maintaining a collection. Once a work is acquired, an advisor can assist with framing, shipping, installation, inventory management, conservation and storage. They can also recommend trusted specialists to help with appraisals, insurance, estate planning, tax guidance and loans using art as collateral.

Facilitating Sales: Advisors can tap into their networks of contacts to sell works for clients either through private transactions or by consigning works to an auction house, negotiating the best terms possible.

Working with an art advisor is a relationship with many facets and benefits. Advisors don’t have a rule book, but they do have an organization – the Association of Professional Art Advisors (APAA) – that sets standards and has a code of ethics. If you’re considering hiring an art advisor, it’s a good idea to confirm that they’re a member.


Not-to-be-Missed at Art Basel Miami Beach


Art lovers are of one mind today: this week is for family, but next week is for Miami. Tens of thousands of people will descend on Miami for the 14th edition of Art Basel and the related festivities. There will be more than 20 other fairs, numerous museum shows (both public and private), gallery exhibitions, art instillations and, of course, parties – hundreds of them! I find myself advising clients not only on what they should buy but also on where they should eat, what shoes they should wear and the best hours to use Uber. There’s now so much to do during Art Basel that, increasingly, many people don’t even go to the fair. It’s impossible to see and do it all, but I recommend that you put the following at the top of your list:

1. Art Basel Public. Even if you can’t make it to the convention center for Art Basel, the fair will have a public sculpture display. For the fifth year in a row, Collins Park will be home to more than 20 large-scale sculptures and installations by artists from around the world.

2. NADA. Of the 20+ fairs around the city, NADA is one that should not be missed. This year, NADA ‒ which showcases young, emerging artists ‒ will be in a new location at the Fontainebleau Hotel and will only be open Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

3. The Margulies Collection. This 45,000 square foot private museum in the Wynwood Arts District houses the collection of long-time collector Marty Margulies. This year, 10,000 square feet of that space will be devoted to a large exhibition of works by Anselm Kiefer, one of the most important European artists working today.

4. Little River. While the art scene has exploded in Miami, so have the rents, and there are new art neighborhoods cropping up in unlikely areas. One such neighborhood is Little River, now home to Bill Brady Gallery (recently relocated from Kansas City), Spinello Projects, and Vanity Projects, a high-end nail art atelier and video art salon. Vanity Projects will also have an on-demand service during Art Basel in case you can’t make it to Little River, which also has some great restaurants, and this year, its first art and design fair, Superfine.

5. Surf Lodge. If you are not completely exhausted at the end of the day, check out the Surf Lodge pop-up at the Hall Hotel in South Beach. As many of you know, Surf Lodge in Montauk is THE place to hang out in the summer. Surf Lodge also hosts artist residencies and exhibitions, which included Diana Al-Hadid and Lucien Smith this past summer. This is their second year in Miami during Art Basel, hosting invite-only dinners and lively afterparties. See you on the dance floor!

Feel free to email or call if you’d like more information, want to compare party plans, or are interested in having me tour you around a fair or two.


Elements in Play in the News: Regulating the Art Market


As the art market continues growing, with more people buying at ever-higher prices, it is becoming increasingly difficult for newcomers and even seasoned collectors to navigate. On top of the growing numbers of artists and galleries, art-collecting strategies are becoming more complex, particularly if investment is the motivation. And as one of the last big businesses still unregulated, it’s full of temptation.

But as this week’s Barron’s Penta article on freeports illustrates, regulators are watching and beginning to take action. In Stashing Your Art in a Tax Haven Can Be Dicey, author Stacy Perman describes the current situation. Freeports are storage facilities in various parts of the world where art buyers can park their collections, which are considered to be in transit while there, and not pay taxes. Perman astutely describes a freeport as a “maximum-security safety-deposit box with tax benefits.” She consulted with me in researching her piece, and I strongly agree with her conclusion that storing in freeports is not worth the risk. The article is a quick read that illuminates an interesting but tricky issue surrounding your investments in today’s art market, and I encourage you to follow-up with me if you have any questions after reading it.


10 NYC Gallery Shows to See Now


Once again, the fall art season is upon us, and with so much to do and see, it’s easy to miss something great. I just returned from EXPO Chicago – my first art fair of the season, and their best edition yet. In New York, every gallery has opened a new show, and for those with limited time, the seemingly endless choices can be daunting. To help guide you, here are my top 10 recommendations for New York City gallery shows to see now:

Barnaby Furnas at Marianne Boesky, through October 10th

Marcel Eichner at James Fuentes, through October 11th

Christian Marclay at Paula Cooper, through October 17th

Keltie Ferris at Mitchell-Innes & Nash, through October 17th

Dan Shaw-Town at Room East, through October 18th

Jackie Saccoccio at Eleven Rivington, through October 18th

Dana Schutz at Petzel, through October 24th

Nassos Daphnis at Richard Taittinger, through October 25th

Samara Golden at Canada, through October 25th

Billy Childish at Lehmann Maupin, through October 31st

In addition to gallery shows, there are a number of auctions and fairs coming up, which I’d be happy to fill you in on. In particular, if you are going to Frieze London (October 13 – 17) and would like to see the fair with me, let me know.

Besides eagerly attending the shows and fairs this fall, I am a judge for the Human Impacts Institute’s annual Creative Climate Awards. I invite you to show your support for combating climate change by bidding on the finalist’s works on Paddle 8.

And for intrigue and fun, every art lover has been following the fascinating Yves Bouvier-Dmitry E. Ryboloviev saga in the news recently. There’s a great article about it in the New York Times today, which includes a quote from me. It’s worth the read — and it will give you a great story to tell to those unfamiliar with it


The Art of Summer


Now that the May auctions and Frieze Art Fair are over, many think the art world takes a break until the fall. While it’s true that summer is quieter and many galleries have (shorter) summer hours, there is still a lot to see and do – including going to any of the numerous gallery group shows. You can also incorporate art into your travels and summer reading, with or without WiFi. Below are some suggestions of how to enjoy art this summer.

1. If you are traveling, here are some art exhibition highlights:

VeniceThe Biennale. Yes, the invitation-only preview and fabulous parties have passed, but the art is on view until November 22nd. And now that the see-and-be-seen of the art world have left, you can actually see everything.

HavanaThe Biennial, May 22nd – June 22nd. With relations thawing between Cuba and the United States, many US art groups are attending this year’s Biennial. The reports thus far are mixed, but Havana is a magical city to visit, regardless.

ViennaDrawing Now: 2015 at the Albertina, May 29th – October 11th. This show is a fascinating look at what drawing means or can mean today. It takes place 40 years after the Drawing Now show that the Albertina mounted jointly with MoMA and will become a series at the museum shown at irregular intervals.

LondonAgnes Martin at Tate Modern, June 3rd – October 11th. This retrospective, the first since the artist’s death in 2004, will be traveling, but it is a must-see if you are in London before it closes.

ParisAnish Kapoor at Versailles, June 9th – November 1st. Kapoor is the latest contemporary artist exhibiting in the gardens and on the terraces of the Chateau de Versailles. The contrast of his works to the formal gardens can be both beautiful and jarring. Let me know what you think!

And, of course, if NYC is part of your summer, you must see the new Whitney Museum.

2. If you haven’t had your fill of art fairs, there are plenty to take in this summer. I will be attending the following four fairs and would be happy to guide you through any of them:

Art Basel, June 16th – 21st, Basel, Switzerland. This marks the fair’s 46th edition in Basel (as compared to the now more popular fair in Miami, which will have its 14th edition in December). It is widely considered the best contemporary art fair of the year, but there are very few parties, so only go if you are truly interested in the art.

And three art fairs in the Hamptons are changing locations this year:

Art Hamptons, July 2nd – 5th, Private Estate Grounds Lumber Lane Reserve, Bridgehampton. This was the first fair in the Hamptons and has the most local feel.

Market Art + Design, July 9th – 12th, Fairview Farm at Mecox, Bridgehampton. This year’s edition is adding design, which is a new trend that I expect to continue.

Art Southampton, July 9th – 13th, Nova’s Ark, Bridgehampton. This fair is brought to us by the Art Miami folks and is thus the most established of the bunch.

3. If you don’t want to leave your hammock but still want to learn about art, I recommend these books:

The Value of Art: Money, Power, Beauty, by Michael Finlay. How art acquires value and what it means to the various players in the art market is the focus of this book. Finlay offers an insider’s look at the art market along with some worthwhile advice on how to navigate your way through.

The Supermodel and the Brillo Box: Back Stories and Peculiar Economics from the World of Contemporary Art, by Don Thompson. This book also examines the art market, but with a little more celebrity and scandal. It follows Thomson’s 2008 bestseller The $12 Million Stuffed Shark, which is also a good read, but keep in mind that $12 million was considered a lot of money for a work of contemporary art in 2008!

The Art of Forgery: Case Studies in Deception, by Noah Charney. I am hopeful that none of you will encounter a forged work, but this book is fascinating.

Seven Days in the Art World, by Sarah Thornton – an oldie but a goody.

As always, please let me know if I can be of assistance in your art education.



When are Art Fairs the Right Place to Buy Art?


These days, it seems that every week there’s an art fair going on somewhere – and sometimes more. And it’s become a reality: there are more than 300 art fairs annually worldwide. For galleries, participating in art fairs is an integral part of business, and last week I discussed this fact with numerous gallerists at a fair in Los Angeles. They said they are now doing 40% to 70% of their annual sales at fairs.  As that number increases, some galleries question the value of having a physical gallery space.

But are fairs the right place to buy art? After attending almost 30 fairs last year, I will share my thoughts and recommendations. Fairs are a great way to see a lot of art at once – there are seemingly endless choices and opportunities. My new clients love going to fairs as part of their education process, and it helps us both get a better sense of what they respond to. Also, my clients regularly buy great works at fairs. For the same reasons, however, it’s a difficult place to buy art because you are overwhelmed by countless artworks, making it very hard to focus. In addition, the works on display tend to be uneven. Some galleries save up great pieces to showcase at fairs, but the proliferation of fairs puts pressure on galleries to do more and more each year. This, in turn, puts pressure on their artists to produce more art, and sub-par works commonly make their way to art fair booths. In short, if you are experienced and well-prepared, buying art at fairs can be very rewarding.

If you intend to buy, it’s also important to plan ahead. Galleries send out previews to their top advisors and clients of what they are bringing to fairs, and they are happy to sell before the doors open. As a result, the best works are frequently sold or put on hold before they are even installed in the booths. So if you know there’s something you want, talk to the gallery beforehand.  Another note: I caution against impulse buys. People get caught up in the excitement and often regret their decisions later.

For those of you who are or plan to be in New York City, March and May are the busiest months for fairs, many of them taking place simultaneously.  I’d be happy to recommend my favorites, or to consult in a broader way, including giving tours of fairs.  And if you don’t live in New York or plan to travel, I can let you know what international and other US fairs are on my calendar.

Upcoming New York City Fairs:

The Armory Show
The Art Show
art on paper

Frieze New York
Art Miami New York


Barron’s Penta: Art Advisors are “Money Well Spent”


Barron’s Penta spent time with me learning how to work with an art advisor.  As you know, their mission is to provide “insights and advice for families with assets of $5 million or more”.  After joining me on a client gallery tour in Chelsea, they published their commentary online today and in tomorrow’s print issue.  They conclude that hiring an art advisor is “money well spent”.

Hope you enjoy!

Art Advisors: Are They Worh It?


Back to School


After a relaxing trip to Malibu over Labor Day, I returned to Manhattan and the calm before the storm. September is always a busy month and playfully referred to in art circles as “back to school”, however the art world energy and enthusiasm of the last 10 days have reached new heights. I’ve attended over 50 gallery openings and numerous gallery dinners as well as fielded an unusual number of inquiries from clients. With all of this activity, here are my recommendations on what not miss – for the collector, the neophyte and the art socialite; there is something for everyone.

Every gallery opens a new show in the first few weeks of September after being closed for at least part of August. Here are my top picks in NYC:

Roxy Paine at Marianne Boesky – September 4th – October 18th
Marco Breuer at Yossi Milo – September 4th – November 1st
John Divola at Wallspace – September 5th – October 25th
David Kramer at Thierry Goldberg – September 7th – October 5th
Kristen Schiele at Lu Magnus – September 7th – October 12th
Strauss Bourque-LaFrance at Rachel Uffner – September 7th – October 19th
Marcel Dzama at David Zwirner – September 9th – October 25th
Nir Hod at Paul Kasmin – September 11th – October 25th
Do Ho Suh at Lehmann Maupin – September 11th – October 26th
José Parlá at Bryce Wolkowitz – September 12th – October 18th

There now seems to be at least one art fair every week somewhere in the world. It’s hard to keep up, so here are my favorites and how long they’ve been around:

September 10th – 14th, ArtRio, Rio de Janeiro, Brasil – 4th edition
September 18th – 21st, EXPO Chicago, Chicago, IL – 3rd edition
September 18th – 21st, abc berlin, Berlin, Germany – 7th edition
October 2nd – 5th, (e)merge, Washington, DC – 4th edition
October 14th – 18th, Frieze, London, England – 12th edition
October 22nd – 26th, FIAC, Paris, France – 41st edition

This month in New York, the big three contemporary auction houses have their mid-season sales (as opposed to the big sales coming up in November), which keep growing in size and importance; they all have catchy names now to garner attention:

September 16th, Phillips Under the Influence
September 23rd, Christie’s First Open
September 24th, Sotheby’s Contemporary Curated 

If you have any questions or would like additional recommendations, let me know!


Reading between the Lines of Sotheby’s Private Sales Numbers


Despite a positive first half 2014 press release from Sotheby’s, Philip Boroff from artnet®news points out that an important part of the business – a part that I am actively involved in – did not perform as well as the company would like you to think.  I spoke with Philip about this yesterday, and his findings – including some quotes from me – are in the below article.  See you in September!

What Sotheby’s Isn’t Advertising About Its Private Sales (PDF)


Bubble or Bust for the Art Market? Worried you Missed the Peak?


The contemporary art market outdid itself in 2013. Close to $1.1 billion worth changed hands during the November auctions in New York at Christie’s and Sotheby’s alone – the highest total ever. In the wake of those sales, which included the eye-popping $142.4 million Francis Bacon triptych, many questioned whether the art market had peaked and many considered whether the bubble was about to burst. Brett Gorvy, Christie’s worldwide head of Post-war and contemporary art, remarked on the market that, “This isn’t a bubble. It’s the beginning of something new.”

Actually neither is true; the contemporary art market has been strong in recent years and will remain so for the foreseeable future. Asking when to buy art isn’t the right question. How you buy art is much more important. And the most essential aspect of buying art is education. At any level, savvy and successful collectors not only understand the art market but also their own tastes and interests, both of which are accomplished by looking at art and asking questions. Art due diligence takes place in galleries, at art fairs around the world, at museums and even at cocktail parties. Details about the current states of artists careers are not readily available in books – the information is too fresh and not widely disseminated. And all artists’ markets do not rise together; some reach the top just as other artists are gaining prominence. The ability to distinguish between the two will lead to more informed acquisitions – be it for a collection of 10 paintings or 100 pieces of art.

I continually research artists, exhibitions, museum shows and the market. As a result, my clients rely on me for the education to understand what they are buying and why – they are well-informed and confident. In addition, I always recommend that my clients buy what they love – you can never go wrong doing that.


Today, Art isn’t just a Pretty Picture


More and more, the art world and the investment business are becoming intertwined, with even non-collectors taking art more seriously. I’m often asked about the different ways to invest in art, and the answer is becoming more complex. Most investors either buy art directly or invest in art funds. Or, there are collectors who are also activist investors, like hedge fund manager Dan Loeb. As of late, Loeb has become Sotheby’s largest shareholder through his Third Point hedge fund; he clearly sees art as an asset.

Loeb also sees Sotheby’s as an art business he can change. In a scathing open letter last week to Sotheby’s CEO William Ruprecht, Loeb said “Sotheby’s is like an old master painting in desperate need of restoration,” and asked Ruprecht to step down. As a prominent collector and powerful investor, Loeb has significant influence, though no one knows where his maneuvers will lead or how Sotheby’s stock will now perform.

I find the developments both fascinating and exciting – the attention that Loeb is drawing to the art world will only help strengthen the already strong art market. For my clients, I recommend buying art directly; you have control over what you buy, it’s less expensive and there’s more upside. And I continue to see new entrants in the market. As Melanie Gerlis pointed out recently in the Art Newspaper, art funds are struggling, however, she wrote, “One major change in investor behaviour has been a trend across all markets in favour of direct investment.” Collectors and non-collectors alike are both intrigued by the art headlines and helping to create them. In Artinfo last month, Eileen Kinsella reported that Christie’s and Sotheby’s “jumpstarted the fall auction season from September 25–27 with lively sales of contemporary art.” These sales target newer buyers and “are increasingly becoming a barometer of the health of the market and reflecting the robust activity at relatively lower five- and six-figure price points.”

In addition to these New York sales, China continues to impress. Despite what Loeb asserts, Sotheby’s latest evening sale in Hong Kong achieved over $145 million, more than double the prior record, including 11 world records. There is also a lot of anticipation for the big November sales in New York. The auction houses are starting to disclose their top lots, which include, amongst many others, two seminal Warhol paintings. Christie’s is selling a Coca-Cola bottle from 1962 with an estimate of $40 – $60 million, and Sotheby’s is selling a very large (8 ft. x 13 ft.) car crash with an estimate in excess of $60 million.

The private markets are also extremely active now. My clients choose private sales over public auctions when they don’t want to risk the uncertainty of buying or selling at auction or if they don’t want to wait for the right sale to come up. Not even August was quiet; I closed my biggest deal of the year, and September “back to school” was also quite busy. Waiting lists for sought-after artists at galleries are getting longer, and the time that galleries give collectors to make decisions is getting shorter. Prices for the right works are increasing rapidly, and those in the know refuse to miss out.

I spend a lot of time researching current trends in the art market and have helped a number of hedge fund investors find art for collecting and investing. I’d love to talk with you more about it as well.

For further reading:
Dan Loeb’s Open Letter to William Ruprecht
The Art Newspaper: Art Fund Industry Struggles to Emerge from the Gloom
Blouin Art Info: A Pair of Colorful Contemporary Auctions Show Fall Already Heating Up


Investing in Art….Barron’s Take


Neatly timed just before the opening of Art Basel, Switzerland (the most distinguished contemporary art fair of the year), Barron’s Penta ran an article on Art Funds (The Hedge Funds of the Art World) by Crystal Kim: The Hedge Funds of the Art World (PDF).

In case you missed it, among several key points made, the author concludes, “The most cost-effective way to invest in art (while also enjoying its aesthetic returns) remains acquiring a portfolio of works directly, in consultation with an art advisor.”

I’ve just returned from Art Basel myself and will share that sales were brisk and collectors — experienced and new — were eager to spend top dollar to acquire great artworks.

Please let me know if you would like to discuss my recommendations on the heels of the art fair, your own collection or simply the state of the art market.

Enjoy the summer season!


The Price is Right?


In the next two weeks, over $1 billion of art will be sold in New York.  Starting on Thursday, several art fairs will take place simultaneously around the city, anchored by Frieze New York on Randall’s Island.  Next week, the major auction houses will hold their contemporary art sales.  Prices will range from several thousand to tens of millions of dollars; so how do you know if you’re paying the right price for a work of art?  There is no public exchange to reference, no financials to peruse and no cash flow to analyze.  And if buying for investment is even one factor in a purchase, the right price can be critical.

Who sets primary market prices?  When buying a new work of art from a gallery (the primary market), you can either accept the price or move on.  Galleries will sometimes give discounts, but once the prices are set, those are the prices.  And while there’s no precise formula, there are a number of factors that galleries review with their artists to establish prices.  If an artist is new to the market, prices reflect the age of the artist, where he/she went to school and what similar works by artists with similar backgrounds sell for.  The quality, size and location of the gallery are also considerations, as are the size of the works, production costs, shipping and insurance.  If the artist has an established market, the question becomes when and by how much to increase prices.  Factors include:

  • gallery exhibitions;
  • museum exhibitions;
  • museum acquisitions;
  • other institutional or prominent individual collection acquisitions; and
  • performance at auction.

The timing of price increases can be tricky because galleries don’t want to alienate existing collectors or new buyers.  The amount of work an artist produces and how quickly the work sells are also considerations.  Although at times, when prices increase, an artist may respond by producing less work.

Effects of auction prices on primary market prices.  If a work sells at auction (the secondary market) for more than primary market prices, the gallery and artist have to decide whether the result should affect primary market pricing and if so, by how much.  Auction bidding can be very emotional and competitive, and the circumstances driving up prices at auction often don’t exist in the primary market.  Consequently, raising prices too much can ruin an artist’s market.  Also, most galleries are interested in building an artist’s career – taking a long-term view – and raising prices too much or too quickly based upon auction performance can be counterproductive.  However, don’t get too excited about a discrepancy between primary and secondary market prices.  Typically, if an artist is “hot” at auction, it’s extremely difficult to find the artist’s works in the primary market.  Galleries will have long waiting lists, which sellers will argue justifies higher secondary market prices.

Who sets secondary market prices?  In the secondary market (resales of art at auction or through private sales), prices are set by the owners of the works.  If a sale takes place at auction, the estimates are suggested by the auction house and agreed to by the owner.  The estimates are predominantly based upon prior auction results (similar works by the same or similar artists) because those are the only prices publically available, despite comprising less than 50% of the secondary market.  If a sale takes place through a private dealer or directly between a buyer and seller, the price is also commonly based upon auction records for the same reason.  Even if one party has knowledge of a comparable private sale, it can be difficult to substantiate.  Other factors in determining a sale price include the quality and condition of the work.  The latter is often evidenced by a condition report that becomes fact.  However, the quality is subjective and often depends on one’s position in a transaction.  Most sellers argue that the work they own is better than the comparable works that have sold at auction, while prospective buyers argue the opposite. Hence, the prices in these situations often come down to what someone is willing to pay for a particular work.

As always, please contact me directly with any art-related questions, including inquiries about pricing, art fairs or auctions.

Upcoming art fairs:

Frieze is a very prominent, international fair with about 180 participating galleries showing a mix of well-established and emerging artists.  PULSE and NADA are smaller fairs, each composed of approximately 60 galleries showing mostly younger, up-and-coming artists.

For a review of my tips for attending an art fair, please visit:

Upcoming contemporary auctions:

  • Sotheby’s: Evening Sale, May 14th; Day Sale, May 15th
  • Christie’s: Evening Sale, May 15th; Day Sale, May 16th
  • Phillips: Evening Sale, May 16th; Day Sale, May 17th

The Evening Sales are ticketed events during which the more significant and expensive works are sold (large Warhol paintings, for example).  The Day Sales are open to the public and offer less expensive works (for example, small Warhol paintings, drawings and prints).



Why is the Art Market so Strong?


According to the Financial Times, fine art sales at auction in 2012 topped $10 billion, with $1 billion sold in one week in November in New York alone. Christie’s reported worldwide sales in 2012 of $6.27 billion, which includes private sales, and represents a 10% increase over 2011. Where is all of this growth coming from?

New Buyers.

Serious buyers have entered the art market over the last few years from places such as China, the Middle East and Brazil. And even more recently, there are first-time buyers from the US and Europe who have been disillusioned by the volatility and underperformance of many other asset classes. Although most collectors don’t buy art solely for investment purposes, it’s almost always one of the factors they consider.

More Galleries and Fairs.

2012 brought much gallery expansion, both in terms of square footage and globalization. Established galleries in New York opened new spaces in London (Zwirner, Pace, Michael Werner); New York and London galleries opened spaces in Hong Kong (Lehmann Maupin, White Cube, Simon Lee); and a French gallery opened one space in Hong Kong and will soon open a space in New York (Perrotin). In addition, there is an ever-increasing number of art fairs – seemingly a different art fair each week in some part of the world. These fairs range from London’s very successful Frieze Art Fair, which debuted Frieze New York last year in a sprawling tent on Randall’s Island, to the new Art Fair Philippines, which launches next month on one floor of a multi-level parking lot in Makati.


Despite the difficult economic situation in much of the rest of the world, I saw an increase in my clients’ transactions in 2012 and expect that to continue this year. I also began working with new clients who are buying with conviction. They believe that art has real value and also enjoy the process; it’s fun, social, prestigious and results in having something they love on their walls.

Strongest Market Segments.

Most of the growth I have seen is in Post-War and contemporary art, at the top and the lower end (younger, emerging artists) of the market. I receive numerous requests for blue-chip artists who are generally deemed to be safer acquisitions providing investment security. The works are priced higher, but the artists’ careers are well established, and if chosen correctly, the works will continue to appreciate. I am also constantly looking for the most promising up-and-coming artists for clients, either because of the lower price points or the excitement of trying to find the next big thing – or both! Currently, I am working with a client to sell two works that I recommended that have doubled in value over the past few years so that he can focus on other areas of his collection, which consists mostly of emerging artists.

Finding great works of art in any price range can be challenging, and purchasing these works is becoming more and more competitive. If you are interested in learning more, feel free to contact me.


Five Tips for Attending an Art Fair


As many of you know, Art Basel Miami Beach is fast approaching, and I am constantly asked for tips on attending an art fair. Below are my top 5 recommendations. As always, feel free to contact me directly with additional questions.

1. Look at the floorplan. 

Art fairs tend to be quite large, and they can be tricky to navigate. It is easy to turn the wrong direction, even if the layout is mostly a grid. Some booths have entrances on two aisles, and if you go in one side and out the other, you can get completely turned around. Floorplans are available at fair entrances and often can be downloaded beforehand from fair websites. It is a good idea to mark where you’ve been to orient yourself and also because galleries often reinstall portions of their booths from day to day, which confuses even the most seasoned fairgoers.

2. Wear comfortable shoes.

I know everyone likes to be stylish, especially surrounded by fabulous works of art and people, but you won’t be able to see much of the art or focus on it if your feet hurt. At a minimum, bring a spare pair of shoes. You’ll thank me. You might also want to bring a supply of Band-Aids and Advil.

3. Bring extra money (cash) and patience for lunch.

Art fairs are starting to expand and improve their food offerings, but in general, lunch at a fair is underwhelming, expensive and time consuming. The lines for food are particularly long during the VIP Preview, particularly in the VIP Lounge. Alternate suggestions are to eat before you go, bring a snack or plan in advance where to eat outside of the fair – most fairs are not well-situated to other food choices. And bring a bottle of water.

4. If you want to buy art, plan your visit in advance.

As previously indicated, art fairs are generally big and crowded, which can make them overwhelming if you are “shopping”. Purchasing art at fairs can also be quite competitive, so it’s best to be prepared by knowing what galleries you want to visit and, if possible, what particular works of art you want to see. The best works are often sold in the opening hours.

5. Go with your Art Advisor.

The easiest way to prepare for an art fair is to have a professional do it for you. An Art Advisor will often know in advance what galleries are bringing and can put desired works on hold. An Advisor will also be familiar with the layout, so you can look more efficiently and maximize your time. And an Advisor will be able to answer questions, explain different works of art and evaluate prices.

The VIP Preview for Art Basel Miami Beach will take place on December 5th, and the fair will be open to the public December 6th – 9th.  More information can be found at

Happy Thanksgiving!