The Art World’s Biggest Lie: A Dealer Apologizes for Collecting as Investing

Adam Lindemann :

Just over the horizon was a whole new group of people who would change the game. Appearing as if from nowhere, like a biblical swarm of locusts: The art advisors. When I wrote my collecting book, there were just a few of them, influential and very knowledgeable, so I included some (Mark Fletcher, Thea Westreich, Sandy Heller among them). But, in the last few years, advisorshave popped up literally everywhere and now outnumber collectors 2 to 1. There are almost as many of them as yoga instructors.

The art-advisor phenomenon is a direct result of the change in the way buyers view their art buying. Today, the “collecting” audience no longer needs to be convinced their money is being well spent; they have bought into the art-as-investment thesis hook, line and sinker. So, in the same way you hire an investment advisor to manage your portfolio, and a management consultant to streamline your business, you now must hire an advisor to help you decide what art to “invest” in.

Gone are the days of “I simply must have it,” today there are two serious types of buyers. The mega art buyers who want international trophy art, who have no budget limit and only want the artistic equivalent of oceanfront property. Then there’s the hot money players: Wise guys, hooligans and celebrities. They go for what’s hot, what’s going to make them look smart and make them fast money.

Credit : Hanna Barczyk

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