Several young artists have eclipsed their estimates; Artprice takes a closer look
PARIS, November 4, 2021 / CNW / – On October 14, 2021, just before its prestigious contemporary art evening sale at London, Sotheby’s calculated the estimated value of the canvas I will have what she has (2020) by Flora Yukhnovich in $ 80,000 – $ 110,000. But the work eventually sold for more $ 3 million. Nothing justifies this result 30 times higher than the estimates, if it is not pure competition between bidders of course, fueled by a current wave of enthusiasm in the art market for young creation. In reality, the 31-year-old artist has far too few results for Artprice and Sotheby’s to explain the logic of such a result.
thierry Ehrmann, CEO and founder of Artmarket.com and its Artprice department: “Art is generally viewed as a low volatility investment whose value evolves over the long term with a gradual change in tastes and preferences. But in recent years, this theory has been shaken by the “red-chip” phenomenon: collectors have become enthusiastic about the very latest stars of the Art Market, to the point of rapidly increasing the price of their works by a few thousand. to several million dollars.“
Buy before they are known …
If you don’t know Flora Yukhnovich (1990) or Jadé Fadojutimi (1993) yet, that’s normal! In fact, it seems that this is precisely one of the reasons why their works are so expensive today … and it could well be that as soon as you know them, they are a bit less fashionable. It might seem counterintuitive, but it would seem that what makes these artists so instantly valuable is that they are not in the books of the most prestigious contemporary art galleries. The works of these young artists are therefore offered for sale at Phillips, Sotheby’s and Christie’s without any reference.
Indeed, since it was painted in 2020 (less than two years ago), the canvas I will have what she has has already been sold by the Parafin gallery and resold at Sotheby’s at London. The online platform Artsy presents the young English painter (31 years old) as a first-rate artist, because Flora Yukhnovich is “represented by internationally renowned galleries.“However, Artprice considers her more as a” red-chip “artist, a notion invented by a journalist Scott Reyburn (Le Journal de l’Art) in January 2021, in reference to a number of very young artists who suddenly emerged on the international art scene.
Very recent work on the secondary market
With the health crisis, auction houses have pushed back the limits of the secondary market to which they were historically dedicated. Today, six- or seven-figure amounts sometimes seem easier to achieve for super-fresh works (created less than two years before resale) than for modern classics, and the big auctioneers are getting more involved. in the to spill game, that is to say the very rapid resale of works fresh out of the workshops of young trendy artists.
This practice is regularly criticized by galleries and the artists themselves, in the eyes of which too rapid price changes destabilize the fragile balance between supply and demand. Last year the painter Amoako Boafo (of Ghanaian descent) told Bloomberg of his fears and disapproval of the highly speculative resale of his paintings at auction.
A new strategy …
In the first half of 2021, auction houses took a new step by selling NFTs from Beeple, Larva Labs, PAK, Mad Dog Jones… none of which is yet represented by major galleries. The auction houses have collaborated directly with these artists, but also with specialized platforms (such as Nifty Gateways or Opensea) to benefit from all the technological support available. However, as the NFT market had no history, the estimates provided by the auction houses were somewhat arbitrary: the starting price of Beeple’s 5,000 days was set at $ 100, but the work grossed nearly $ 70 million!
Of course, this is not the first time auction houses have entered the primary market. They regularly offer fresh pieces at charity sales where artists donate one or two “invisible” works to a good cause. There have also been a number of special cases, such as that of Damien Hirst and Sotheby’s Beautiful in my head forever sale in 2008.
With NFTs, auction houses have been able to inject into the market works that bypass galleries, but for which an immense demand already exists and is even bottled up for too long. This paradigm shift fits perfectly with a broader strategy of the auction majors to present works capable of attracting new buyers to works whose prices can explode. In fact, the ‘NFT’ and ‘red-chip’ phenomena can be seen as a materialization of this new strategy.
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