Art market:
The good news; the top end of the fine-art & antiques market is thriving, and growing minority of people in the UK have larger & larger amounts of disposable income to spend. The bad news; they’re not spending it in the lower-priced end (sub £400) of the fine-art & antiques market. Who can blame them? Tastes are changing, and granny’s old knick-knacks are just so… dusty. “Almost everyone in the art market is now trying to crack the puzzle of how to attract wealthy new buyers.” …doesn’t sound too hopeful. Traditional high-quality antiques than can be bought cheap ‘out of the attic’ are a finite market; when they’re all gone, they’re gone. Add to that the lack of high-spending US & Japanese tourists, changing tastes, new technologies for making good repro copies, and the way that post-1945 ‘nostalgia’ antiques find a natural home on net auctions – and you’ve got a recipe for decline. I’d like to think that a new market is arising, a sub-£400 market for new contemporary work & small commissioned pieces from living artists? But I’ve yet to see reliable figures for that really happening in the UK; there was the 2004 Market Matters, but that was largely an exploration of policy matters and an attempt at justifying a public-sector intervention in the free-market. None of the artists that I know are yet making much of a living from selling their art.