7 myths about New York art collectors that are completely dismantled by new investigation of the city’s art scene



During the US presidential debate last month, President Donald Trump described New York as a “ghost town”. He added: “It’s dying, everyone is leaving New York.”

Some anxious art dealers may have identified a grain of truth in Trump’s hyperbole, as wealthy residents fled the city over the summer for eastern Long Island (and now Palm Beach. ).

Despite the difficulties, however, a new study suggests that the New York art market is uniquely positioned to rebound. The report—Corded by the organizers of the independent art fair (admittedly based in New York) and Crozier Fine Arts, and compiled by Arts Economics founder Clare McAndrew — stands as the very first analysis of what makes the world tick. New York art market (and keeps it resilient).

Chelsea’s gallery district. Photo via Flickr.

The report is based on surveys completed by 388 collectors in the tri-state New York area and 146 completed by art advisers. “It reviews the strengths of New York’s collection base, art market, cultural infrastructure and regulatory frameworks, all of which will be critical to the speed of its recovery from the current crisis,” he said. McAndrew told Artnet News.

In the process, the report also contains a few surprises, punctuating long-held myths about the shopping and cultural center. We have presented a few of them below.

Myth # 1: “Everyone is leaving New York. ”

Sorry, Donald Trump: New York remains the world’s largest art market center. The report estimates that the Big Apple represents up to 90 percent of the total value of art transactions in the United States. (Meanwhile, the United States was the world’s largest art market last year, with a 44 percent market share.) The city is also home to 40 percent of the nation’s art fairs. Moreover, he provides a key platform for artists, living and dead: about 60 percent of American artist estates and foundations are based in the city.

Andy Warhol's 200 dollar bills at auction preview, Photo: Emmanuel Dunand / AFP / Getty Images.

Andy Warhol’s 200 dollar bills during an auction preview, Photo: Emmanuel Dunand / AFP / Getty Images.

Myth # 2: New York City collectors only care about the investment.

It’s true that New York City is home to many of the world’s greatest art collectors: half of the country’s 3000 most active (and wealthiest) art buyers live there. The average collector surveyed owns 146 works of art. But viewers of Billion will be forgiven for assuming the city is full of hedge fund managers racing to overturn jobs for profit. While these people certainly exist, the survey found that New York collectors perceive themselves as less motivated to invest than some of their global peers. And if it’s possible that New Yorkers just want to be seen as less investment-oriented, the way they live with art proves it. On average, 75 percent of their collections are exhibited in personal and accessible spaces such as homes or offices, with an average of five percent on loan to museums. And even though New Yorkers’ homes are often relatively small, the proportion of works they have in stock, according to the survey, is “significantly lower” than that of collectors in other regions.

Myth # 3: Millennials are the biggest clientele.

Collectors surveyed spend an average of $ 759,000 on art each year, although this varies widely by age and level of wealth. The average annual spend for Millennial collectors was just over $ 45,500, compared to around $ 600,000 for Gen X and Baby Boomer collectors. The so-called “silent generation”, those born between 1925 and 1945, reported a much higher average spending of $ 3.4 million per year.

Installation view of "Sean Fader: The Thirst Trap" at the Denny Dimin Gallery.  Image courtesy of the artist and the Denny Dimin Gallery.

View of the installation of “Sean Fader: Thirst Trap” at the Denny Dimin Gallery. Image courtesy of the artist and the Denny Dimin Gallery.

Myth # 4: New York collectors only buy at the top of the market.

Although it is a hub for the world’s most expensive works of art, even New York’s best collectors commit to varying price points. In total, 84 percent of collectors said they most often transacted at prices below $ 50,000 and that 43 percent of their collections consisted of works by emerging artists. There are also few better places to buy or sell contemporary art: 80 percent of works owned by respondents were from living artists.

Myth # 5: Online Viewing Rooms are a smart way to reach New York City’s top collectors.

New Yorkers can just be OVR online viewing rooms. Although 90 percent of those surveyed had browsed the platforms this year, only 22 percent had used them to complete a purchase. During that time, more than a quarter had never purchased a work of art online. Instead, the most frequently used channel for collectors to purchase art was (by far) galleries and dealers, with 76% of collectors using them always or often. Over the past two years, New York City collectors reported purchasing art from 14 different galleries on average, and more than half (53%) preferred working with local galleries. Most (96%) had also purchased works of art at art fairs, with 43% using them always or often.

Myth # 6: Art advisors don’t play such a big role.

The survey also provides insight into an under-explored market force: art consultants. (The advisors interviewed were either based in New York or had worked with clients in New York in the previous year.) Local art advisors worked with an average of 45 clients each, advising on sales or purchases. worth $ 33 million in 2019, with 52% of that value attributable to New York customers. Respondents were involved in buying or selling an average of 27 works of art per year directly from galleries, 60% of which were based in New York City. Over the past two years, art advisors said they’ve worked with an average of 33 galleries, about half of which are in the Big Apple. Art advisors based outside New York made at least ten business trips there each year.

Art Basel Miami Beach 2019. Photo: Courtesy of Art Basel.

Art Basel Miami Beach 2019. Photo: Courtesy of Art Basel.

Myth # 7: No one will feel comfortable going to IRL events again anytime soon.

Despite the challenges and dangers posed by the public health crisis, 76% of New York collectors surveyed said they were ready to attend events, exhibitions and fairs in the city over the next 12 months, and 52% said they would attend events locally. or in other regions, including those outside the United States. You can’t hold back a New Yorker.

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