Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Tobias Meyer: The New Art Market Is No Longer Limited To The Wealth Parameters Of The West

(image via nytimes)

Tobias Meyer, the head of contemporary art and auctioneer at Sotheby's, has noticed that the cheapening of the dollar has led to the giant sucking sound of geopolitical power moving from The West to the East.

Economic power is moving eastward. Art, they say, anticipates science, especially in the case of visionary physics.

Meyer talks to "Fantastic Man" magazine, Issue 7, about what he's noticed from the podium at Sotheby's:

Joan Buck: .. The value (of Art) comes from the hands its been in and how much it costs?

Tobias Meyer: The hands its been in -- and the value comes from people wanting it. When people want something very badly, like Jeff Koons' Hanging Heart, it's 23 million dollars instead of 3 million dollars. Bought by somebody who didn't know koons a year ago.

"JB: A new ..

"TM: New buyer, new market, new money, new smart man, new fearlessness ... Let's just presume from a new economy. it's a whole new world. I used to be able to predict with a certain accuracy what would happen in the market, because it was really only determined by Americans and Europeans and now it's out of our hands. There's China, there's the Middle East. All kinds of people who are not constrained by anything are buying now, and they have a very different value system.

"In New York, people associate prices of Art with real estate prices. The price point for a great work of Art is probably 60, 70 million dollars because that's the price of the greatest Park Avenue apartment -- say a duplex at 740 Park Avenue.

"The new buyers are not restricted by any association with any other wealth. They think in their own parameters, which are not the parameters of The West any more.

"JB: It's all changing?

"TM: Many of the buyers that I've traditionally worked with are being priced out of the market, they can't compete with that amount of wealth and that amount of fearlessness .."

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