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Saturday, May 28, 2005

The Art Newspaper on Market Shenanigans

The most recent issue of The Art Newspaper has an interesting piece on the dirty dealing seen in the contemporary art market. A couple of the more choice quotes:
“There’s so much insider trading around these retrospectives”, says London-based dealer Kenny Schachter. “Galleries call their top two or three collectors as soon as they find out and let them in on the deal. In commodities trading, where I used to work, that’s called ‘front-running’ and it’s illegal. I remember when I first stumbled into the art world, I was shocked that it could be run in such an archaic manner.”
And
But another top American dealer, likewise coming to Basel, says, “If you make the business transparent it would collapse overnight. I have to have the option to lie to collectors about what’s available or quote them prices 10 times what other people paid. Entire careers are built upon fabrications, like about which shows sold out and at what prices”.
Caveat emptor.



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