Art & Culture in Chicago

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The Dow Jones vs. the Art Market: How our Suffering Economy is Affecting Art Sales

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The you-know-what has hit the fan, and there is a big mess to clean up.  

Since the beginning of September, the Dow Jones has dropped more than 800 points in just four days, Lehman Brothers became the world’s largest bankruptcy ever, and the US government bailed out AIG. 

 In London, in June 2007, An unnamed investment group agreed to pay the White Cube Gallery $100 million cash for Damien Hirst’s platinum-cast and diamond-covered human skull, “For the Love of God.” Last May, a Lucian Freud painting sold for 33.7 million dollars, breaking the record for the most expensive single work by a living artist sold at auction. And just over a week ago, Hirst again set a new record after a two-day sale of his work fetched about $198 million at Sotheby’s.  This is ten times the previous single-artist record, set in 1993 by Picasso.  Hirst said the results of the sale showed “the market is bigger than anyone knows… I love art, and this proves I’m not alone and the future looks great for everyone.”

            The art market doesn’t seem to be hurting. Why?

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Written by Kelly Reaves

September 25, 2008 at 6:38 am