28 May 2007

Business is booming

The splintering of Webbs and subsequent rising of Art+Object have seen a hell of a lot of press recently about the art auction scene. The main thrust has been the strength of the auction market, with some trickledown to the wider sector, including a stunning piece in the DomPost last week about how all our artists are going soft because they no longer have to wait tables or teach to pay the bills. Is anyone else worried how similar DomPost is to ComPost?

But spare a thought for your friendly neighbourhood art dealer. A couple I've spoken to recently have remarked that this current media frenzy has almost totally ignored the crucial link in the process - the primary sales dealer. The art industry cover story in next week's Listener, for example, features only a passing comment from John Gow - not so very long ago the public face of the art market.

And the whole Resale Royalties discussion is also apparently "anti-dealer", and "ignores what dealers do to further an artist's career by cutting off income from secondary sales". Oh.

Hats off to Art+Object's PR people though. Stunning job - they're everywhere. But for the sake of my keeping of an orderly bookcase, how about we shy away from the wild and crazy A3 sales catalogue format. Strong brands are built through repeated repetition.

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