Pete Kendall's Socio Times: A Socionomic Commentary

July 13, 2007
Super-Rich Help Christie's to Record
LONDON - Christie's International auction house recorded the largest half-year sales in art market history, boosted by demand from wealthy fund managers and entrepreneurs wanting pieces of modern art, it said on Friday.

Christie's, which has 14 salesrooms around the world including London, New York and Hong Kong, recorded global sales of 1.63 billion pounds (3.25 billion dollars) for the first six months of 2007, including buyers' premium -- a rise of 32 percent on last year's figure. A total of 358 works of art sold for more than one million dollars, compared with 189 auctioned during the same period last year.

"Never before has interest in art and collectibles been so widespread," said Edward Dolman, chief executive officer at Christie's International.

Andy Warhol and Mark Rothko were most in demand with Warhol's "Green Car Crash (Green Burning Car I)" attracting the a bid of $71 million in New York. Dolman said contemporary artists were popular because the new breed of collectors wanted something that "says more about them and the society they live in" rather than eighteenth-century values.

"They want something that has more relevance to them -- symbols of the modern world," he said.

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Warhol's 'Crash' Captures Hidden Meaning Behind Great Art Boom
Category: NEWS
By: Pete Kendall, July 13, 2007
The Elliott Wave Theorist of May 1990 first made the key point: “When the stock market finally tops out, art prices won’t be far behind.” Another sign of an approaching trend change in art and art prices is the “flight from quality.”. Notice the difference between the stature of the artist at the beginning of the art boom in 1987 when Van Gogh’s work was the object of the bidding frenzy and this year’s recipient.”
The Elliott Wave Financial Forecast, July 2006

green car crash
The comment above was about Gustav Klimt and the sale of his “Adele Bloch-Bauer” for $135 million came in the middle of last year. The $71 million that went for Warhol’s “Green Car Crash (Green Burning Car I)” is even more extreme and on point. In the past, we have observed that the most valuable art keeps getting more and more modern. This is rather like the rising level of risk in the financial markets as the more modern a piece is the greater the chance that its masterpiece status will be challenged by changing tastes. We certainly regard the extreme prices paid for Warhol’s work, as well as a lengthening list of living artists, as extreme for this reason. In the case of the “Green Car Crash,” the risks are no doubt compounded by the fact that it’s not even a painting; it’s a photograph of a car crash reprinted on top of itself and washed with green. The article at left says people "want something that has more relevance to them." This sale should turn out to be very relevant, one of the all-time great metaphors for what happens to art and other investment values when a downturn in the stock market coincides with the start of a full-fledged deflationary collapse.

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July 13, 2007 03:11 PM

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