Art, not money, drives booming art market


The current booming art market is driven by a love of art, not money, according to Steven Murphy, chief executive office, Christie’s.

Speaking after Christie’s Post-War and Contemporary Art department set a new benchmark in New York last week, raising $975 million and setting 34 new records, he said:

“The current commentary on the art market currently avoids what is truly driving it.  It is the work of art itself. It is an extraordinary cultural moment.

“When works of art regularly sell for these figures, with a queue of bidders lined up from across the globe to try to secure the piece, and many thousands more viewing the art online, it is not the promise of a financial return that is creating the urgency to own the work of art.   It is the art that is drawing people in increasing numbers to museums, art fairs and galleries all over the world.  More people than ever before want to connect with art; and the growth in this audience globally, makes the few, individual, true masterpieces available more valuable than ever before.”

Brett Gorvy, Chairman and International Head of Post-War and Contemporary Art, said that the remarkable bidding and strong sell-through rate achieved throughout last week’s three days of Post-War and Contemporary Art sales reflect the growing appetite for contemporary art across the global marketplace.

“International collectors compete at every level of the market to acquire a large spectrum of works ranging from Post-War masterpieces from important collections to cutting edge examples from young contemporary artists,” he said.

Steven Murphy
Steven Murphy