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Art Market Insight | What, Why and How To Invest
Editorial / Art Market

Art Market Insight | What, Why and How To Invest

19 Jul 2022

Gallery founder Ben Cotton recaps the year so far and gives his tips on what to buy now.

Sotheby's European chairman, Oliver Barker bringing down the hammer on the record sale of Banksy's 'Love is in the Bin'. The artwork fetched £18,582,000.

Sotheby's European chairman, Oliver Barker bringing down the hammer on the record sale of Banksy's 'Love is in the Bin'. The artwork fetched £18,582,000.

HAYDON PERRIOR

On art market performance in 2022…

We’re certainly not in normal times – but we’re finding that the market’s showing considerable resilience to the multitude of global uncertainties. In times of crisis, the art market has historically remained resilient: during the worst part of the Covid pandemic, for example, many galleries with online roots actually reported record trading. Obviously, this is a very different situation, so it remains to be seen how it will play out, but given the healthy collector interest and sales we’ve seen during the first half of 2022 we’re quietly confident that the market will continue to be buoyant.

On why to buy Banksy now…

Banksy’s market rose exponentially in 2020 and 2021, with auction records smashed and unprecedented prices achieved. We’re now in the midst of a very welcome softening. Sometimes the market does have to stabilise in order to remain healthy and many of our clients are taking the opportunity to pick up coveted works at more favourable prices. We’re noticing both existing and new collectors purchasing works now, knowing that the market will likely start to pick up again later this year.

Banksy at 14th Street and Sixth Avenue, New York, 2018.

Banksy at 14th Street and Sixth Avenue, New York, 2018.

On the most in-demand artists – from Basquiat to Emin…

A few years ago, the market for Basquiat editions was very much US-based but we’ve noticed a big shift, with UK collectors looking to invest. With this in mind, we’ve expanded our inventory and are really enjoying helping clients secure pieces for their collections. We believe these editions hold great opportunities for growth.

We’ve also noticed a big uptake in established female artists such as Tracey Emin, Bridget Riley and Yayoi Kusama. All have performed extremely well at auction over the last 12 months. Tracey Emin still seems undervalued given her show record and popularity.

If you’re looking for a solid ROI, consider artists like these with proven long-term auction history, great gallery representation and a solid collector base.

Jean-Michel Basquiat, 'Hollywood Africans in Front of the Chinese Theater with Footprints of Movie Stars', Exhibition view, Hang-Up Gallery, London, 2022.

Jean-Michel Basquiat, 'Hollywood Africans in Front of the Chinese Theater with Footprints of Movie Stars', Exhibition view, Hang-Up Gallery, London, 2022.

Simon kallas

On new artists making a splash…

Figurative work is fast gaining in popularity, including pieces by Delphine Leborgeois, who we’ve been championing over recent years. Her work has been selling extremely well and made it into some great collections. Look out for it in this year’s Royal Academy Summer Exhibition too.

Royal Academy Summer Exhibition 2022, London.
Royal Academy Summer Exhibition 2022, London.

Royal Academy Summer Exhibition 2022, London.

Delphine Lebourgeois / David Parry, Royal Academy of Arts

On David Shrigley’s runaway success…

David Shrigley has had an amazing couple of years. Demand for his editions is now so strong that queues of people camp out every time one is released. I think his popularity is down to his work resonating with so many people. Strangely, the pricing for secondary market editions is not dissimilar to originals of the same size, so I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s a shift in pricing of the originals in the near future.

Katherine Bernhardt is another artist on the rise. She has a huge following in Asia and, now that she’s newly-represented by David Zwirner gallery and has a current London show, I think we’ll be seeing her name around a lot more. The Pink Panther motif which is replicated in a lot of her work appeals to both older and young buyers, which may help explain her appeal!

David Shrigley, Old Cat, 2022.

David Shrigley, Old Cat, 2022.

On how to make sensible investments…

Our golden rule is always to buy what you actually like. Aside from that, take the time to look at everything available from your chosen artist before you buy. Money will always be a limitation but, working within your budget, spend time seeking out the best possible works available and trying to secure them.


On what’s on his wish list…

There’s an American artist whose work I’ve been following for many years – Raymond Pettibon. He was very much embedded in the Californian punk scene and makes these epic big wave pictures using watercolour and ink. They have an incredible quality to them. I am a big surfing fan but remain fairly inept after many years of trying! Regardless, I would love one of these at home.

Raymond Pettibon, No Title (Hermosa Beach), 2019.

Raymond Pettibon, No Title (Hermosa Beach), 2019.

Raymond Pettibon / David Zwirner

To talk about any of the artists mentioned or see the work we have available, get in touch.

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