The art market is overheated today and the high prices for some paintings cannot be explained, says art director of the Carmen Thyssen Museum in Andorra, Guillermo Сervera

The art market is overheated today and the high prices for some paintings cannot be explained, says art director of the Carmen Thyssen Museum in Andorra, Guillermo Сervera

Guillermo Сervera, art director of the Carmen Thyssen Museum in Andorra (Museu Carmen Thyssen Andorra), spoke about trends in the world art market and named some artists whose works are sold for record amounts:

“One of the most expensive recent deals on the art market, of course, was the sale of David Hockney’s painting (born July 9, 1937). On November 15, 2018, his “Portrait of an Artist” (“A Pool with Two Figures”, 1972) was purchased at Christie’s auction for $ 90 million, becoming the most expensive work by a living artist to be auctioned off.

David Hockney is a funny guy with a funny face. He has been always funny. His name is very well known all over the world (in particular, the following sayings belong to him: “The training of painting is the teaching of the art of seeing” and “The work of art requires hands, eyes and a heart. Many people prefer to take memorable moments on the camera. But the camera will turn them into a performance … ”).

David is an artist from England who lived and worked a lot in the USA. He is a pop art artist and this style has always been in fashion. But the price offered for his picture surprised everybody across the whole world.

Another well-known pop art artist is Roy Fox Lichtenstein whose paintings are also very expensive. They sell for around 50-60 million dollars each. The artist died relatively recently – in 1997.

If we talk about the global art market as a whole, the most expensive pieces on the market today are still masterpieces by impressionists. The fact that impressionism is at the top is logical and explicable. Unlike pop art, which is still alive, impressionism is about 140 years old. However, every year there are fewer and fewer opportunities to acquire beautiful masterpieces from the Impressionists. The paintings are in private collections or state museums and very rarely get on the market.

Expressionists are still of great interest as well. First of all, I mean German expressionists. Many paintings were burned by the Nazis during World War II. The Nazis hated the expressionists because they believed that their art was directed against the Nazi party. There are very few such paintings and, as a result, they are highly sought after at Christie’s and Sotheby’s auctions.

Art has always been and remains an object of investment. But one thing is to invest in a masterpiece that explains history. Another thing is the conceptual avant-garde artists. Avant-garde art is very commercial. This is a rough and complicated market that has no rules.

Recently, collectors with a lot of money in their pockets have been appearing who acquire pictures just to let everyone know about them. These are not real collectors. But they form a market.

If we talk about the latest acquisitions made by Baroness von Thyssen, I would name paintings by the Spanish, pop art artist, Antonio de Philippe, as well as several paintings by Catalan and Andalusian artists (these acquisitions are easy to explain since the Baroness also has a museum in Malaga).

We follow all the trends and movements of the art market and study all available catalogs. But at the same time, we do not participate in auctions personally, preferring to remain in the shadows. And we are no longer looking for the possibility of acquiring large masterpieces. Firstly, the paintings in the collection must have a connection. Otherwise, it will not be a collection. Secondly, the art market is very overheated. Remember the painting “Salvator Mundi” by Leonardo da Vinci. On one historic night in 2017 at Christie’s auction in New York, “Salvator Mundi” – the image of Christ as “Savior of the world” – one of the greatest and most famous artists of history, was sold for $ 450,312,500, becoming the most expensive painting ever sold at auction!

The reason for such high prices is inexplicable. But this is the art market’s driving force. ”

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