Felix Salmon

The Andy Warhol Foundation’s motives

December 8, 2009

If you have any interest in art-world machinations, Richard Dorment’s account of the nefarious doings of the Andy Warhol Foundation is a must-read. But there’s one bit which rings false to me:

Who’s the Warhol of fine-art photography?

December 7, 2009


The Economist has a great report on the market in Warhols, which turns out to have been written by Sarah Thornton. (Incidentally, if the Economist is going to encourage its writers to give radio interviews about their articles, isn’t it about time they had the occasional byline?)

Democratizing art

November 18, 2009

I had a very interesting lunch with Jen Bekman of 20×200 last week — a woman who has just raised $825,000 in venture funding to help expand her project of bringing art to everybody. “I want anyone who’s educated and even remotely affluent to feel self-conscious if they don’t have an art collection that they can talk about,” she says, and to that end she’s selling limited-edition art starting at just $20 for an 8″x10″ C-print in an edition of 200. (Hence the name.)

A Broad retreat

November 16, 2009

Last year, I applauded Eli Broad for not donating his art to Lacma, and instead keeping it in his own foundation, whence it could and would be lent out around the world. I even suggested that it might make more sense to donate art to the Broad Foundation than to a museum:

How can the government reduce unemployment?

November 16, 2009

Nouriel Roubini says the federal government has to be much more aggressive on the unemployment front:

A child of 8 could be traded for that!

November 12, 2009

Talk about alternative asset classes: Venetia Kapernekas, a New York art dealer, has traded her claim to part-ownership of two Damien Hirst works in return for custody of her 8-year-old daughter. Need I add that one of the Hirsts is entitled “In this terrible moment we are victims clinging helplessly to an environment that refuses to acknowledge the soul”?

Art market datapoint of the day

October 21, 2009

Law firm Heller Ehrman spent millions of dollars putting together a corporate art collection during the biggest bull market the art world has ever seen, before going bankrupt at the end of last year. Now that art collection is being auctioned off:

Pledge now, pay later

October 12, 2009

Given that the government (despite my urging) isn’t going to significantly increase its arts funding, creative types are naturally going to look online for alternative sources of funds. And a new model is springing up across the web which I like a lot.

Returns on art

October 6, 2009

Luc Renneboog and Christophe Spaenjers of Tilburg University have done their own analysis of the art market, and conclude: