Felix Salmon

Art as a game

April 27, 2011

Adam Lindemann and Amalia Dayan make a great couple: they’re both immersed in the upper reaches of the art market, with Adam mostly buying and Amalia mostly selling. I spoke to them at the Artelligence conference — an entire event devoted to the dubious concept of “art as an asset class” — after they presented a slideshow of works which were sold at auction in 1973 and which are worth lots of money today.

Andy Warhol datapoints of the day

April 14, 2011

Anders Petterson of ArtTactic put together a presentation on the Warhol market for his talk at Artelligence yesterday. There are some astonishing numbers in it, none more so than the fact that Warhol paintings accounted for 17% of all contemporary-art auction sales in 2010. But there’s much more where that came from.

Larry Gagosian, billionaire

April 8, 2011

On Wednesday, if all goes according to plan, I’ll be attending Marion Maneker’s first Artelligence conference, and interviewing art collector Adam Lindemann for a Reuters video after he and his wife have delivered their talk on “the truth and fiction of art as an asset class”. I’m also very much looking forward to the panel on art funds, which I hope includes one or two die-hard skeptics. (If it doesn’t, I’m willing to pinch-hit!)

Why you can’t see great video

February 14, 2011

I spent a large chunk of Saturday looking at The Clock. Christian Marclay’s video masterpiece is currently on show at the Paula Cooper gallery in New York, and is also part of the British Art Show, which is touring the UK and will open in London on Wednesday.

Art funds return

January 11, 2011

If proof were needed that the crisis is over and that we’re back to idiotic business-as-usual, then look no further than the fact that Dealbook—Heidi Moore, no less—is running a long story about art funds. These ludicrous creatures have strong claim to being the most ridiculous asset class in the world, no one should ever invest in them, and they invariably fail.

A guide to the market oligopoly system

December 28, 2010


A couple of months ago, I bought this drawing from New York artist William Powhida. It’s called “A Guide to the Market Oligopoly System”, and it’s lots of fun, as well as being very astute.

Veblen good of the day, Julie Mehretu edition

December 16, 2010

Do finance types pay millions of dollars for art because of how good it is — or do they pay millions of dollars for art precisely because it costs millions of dollars? If there was any doubt before, you only need to listen to Lloyd Blankfein, talking about the art in his lobby:

Europe goes mad over art

December 16, 2010

Georgina Adam has the gobsmacking story, for the Art Newspaper: according to the European Commission, works by Dan Flavin and Bill Viola are not art.