Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Thin Market For Andy Warhol's Work

In the wake of some record-breaking multi-million dollar selling prices for Andy Warhol's work at recent auctions in New York, the Economist magazine has taken a more detailed look at the nature of the market for his art HERE.  They conclude that the prices Warhol's works now command at auction are a function of a thin but passionate collector base.

Perhaps more interestingly, it's also a market whose thinness leaves it vulnerable to distortion.  One example cited in this article is that of a Warhol collector who has apparently amassed over 800 Warhols since the artist's death in the 1980s, and who has been known to continue to bid on more of his work as it comes up for auction today.  Even if he doesn't win these auctions, his bids have the effect of increasing the perceived market value of his existing collection, which benefits him when he is then a periodic seller.

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