Art is big. Bling is big. The FT Yachts supplement today reports that the only decline in superyacht orders is coming from the sub-40metre size.
If the middle class globally is expanding at 60million per year, the super rich is expanding too as billionaires have covered their tracks and emerged to procure respectability.
What is the value of the toys of success, the baubles… Damien Hirst set records with his latest release of work direct to Sotheby’s. The hype surrounded a new model for auctions which appeared to cut out his traditional dealer network, but the Sunday Times highlighted this weekend that, far from hiding in fury, these dealers seemed to be deployed in the auction house to bid for the work – often becoming the second highest bidder (underbidder?), which presumes they were biding to support the escalation of price.
It was even noted that some of the pieces they themselves bought were of lower appeal than the big works.
Is Damien Hirst a clever manipulator of the art market? Is he a great artist? Are his works fabulous pop art pieces that act as signatures to shepherd the wider public into art spaces?
Maybe cynicism is required to be really big.
But, then, is a Faberge egg really worth its value? And, is Hirst worth £100m+ when a recent original Mozart score sold for £50,000.
I give you the test… of time…
See Sunday Times: Hirst dealers bolster prices at record sale