Sunday, October 26, 2008

Mary Boone on the Art Market

Don't be fooled by Damien Hirst's Sotheby's bonanza, the art market is not immune to the credit market. In this week's Observer, Mary Boone issues a piece of classic New York mental calculus...

"At the Whitney Museum Gala on Monday, Oct. 20, gallerist Mary Boone told the Transom she has been through three economic downturns: the first when she opened her gallery in 1977; another in the late ’80s; and finally a third directly following 9/11. And so the petite Ms. Boone, whose 5-foot-1-inch frame and tame, pitch-black hair make her seem deceptively mousy, is not particularly concerned this time around.

'In November of ’89, only 20 percent of works were selling at auctions,' Ms. Boone said. 'But the works then went on the market at the right prices. So it’s all a correction.'

Ms. Boone hopes that the economic downturn will rid the market of some of the exorbitantly priced works of art that are being flipped like real estate was until very recently. (She is also hoping real estate prices will drop so that her 21-year-old son, Max, will be able to afford a 'nice place downtown.')"