Navigating the changing art world

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Aymeric Thuault and Aude Lemogne

What are the key trends in the art world today and how can a collector successfully navigate this opaque market? Private Art Investor asked Aude Lemogne, founder of art advisory firm Link Management, for her view.

 

The art market is currently undergoing tremendous changes on many different levels. One of the key trends observed by Aude Lemogne, founder of art advisory firm Link Management, is a significant split between the retail (low to medium priced works) and the premium market.

“While the performance of the retail market is far more inconsistent, the premium market is a territory for a new breed of trophy hunters and investors, using art as a safe haven,” she says. “An increasing number of collectors from China, Russia, or Brazil are now alongside western collectors chasing the top-end artworks, affirming simultaneously their emerging status in the art world.”

On a different note, she says the rise of social media and e-platforms has also changed the art world by making information quickly and easily available, thus reinforcing trends.

“An example that is currently widespread in the market is the trend for emerging young artists achieving almost instantaneous commercial success,” she says. “It also strengthens a wider tendency: an ever-growing number of people who want to interact with art.”

Many of these people are buying their art not through fairs or brick-and-mortar galleries, but online.

“Buying habits are changing, and online sales channels are becoming a real alternative, as a larger number of collectors do not hesitate to purchase lower-priced works on the basis of images.”

Lemogne and Aymeric Thuault founded Link Management in 2009 with the ambition of offering unique art advisory services that integrate financial expertise and rigorous risk management.

“Based on our past experience as traders in financial markets, we felt that the defiance from investors towards traditional assets and their increasing appetite for tangible assets was going to be a major trend for the years to come,” says Thuault.

“We not only assist clients in the acquisition and sale of artworks, we also provide support in addressing all the fiduciary aspects of art collecting and investing: proper due diligence processes, value management as well as analyses of market trends.”

A key trend she has observed over the last few years an increased attention for overlooked artists and movements of the 1960-70s. She says the constant frenzy for new artistic production in the contemporary space has pushed certain galleries to take their distance with this logic, and to focus more on the re-discovery of post-war artists.

“On a different note, there is also a real push for a greater transparency in the market, originating from new players as well as from entities outside the art market,” says Lemogne. “So you have this simultaneous evolution: the market keeps growing and extending, with art transaction becoming ever more international and complex due to a large variety of ownership structures, while at the same time you can feel a genuine drive for transparency and control – even though we are still at a very embryonic stage where this is concerned.”

She and Thuault are convinced that the sheer size of the art market will continue to spark the interest of various regulatory authorities and as a firm they have decided to address this by including elaborate risk management processes their art acquisition and art investment offering.

“It is ineluctable that due diligence will develop in the coming years, especially given the increase in value of blue-chip art and the money at play,” says Thuault.