This edition of the Artnet Intelligence Report—available exclusively to Artnet News Pro members—tackles the rise of the art flipper. Over the past decade, speculative reselling has become big business as the market for ultra-contemporary art has soared. Sales of art sold within three years of its creation date have grown 1,000 percent over the past decade, to a total of almost $260 million. (For context, over the same period, the S&P 500 rose just about 200 percent.)
But now, the scales of power may be tipping. In this issue, we explore the different mechanisms by which artists are working to fight flippers—and even beat them at their own game. Some of these measures are technological: tools like smart contracts can automate the distribution of royalties and empower artists to customize the terms of a resale. Other initiatives, like Artist’s Choice at Sotheby’s and a new sale series from Simon de Pury, allow artists to do an end run around flippers and put their work up for auction directly.
In this issue, Katya Kazakina lays out the definitive history—and potential future—of the practice of art flipping. She also interviews the patron saint of the practice, Stefan Simchowitz, about how artists have seized the upper hand. Meanwhile, Kazakina and Eileen Kinsella break down the primary and secondary prices for work by 11 darlings of the auction circuit. And Tim Schneider lays out why smart contracts are artists’ best tool in the fight against speculation.
Also included, of course, is our peerless analysis of auction data, which reveals what segments of the market are growing and which artists should be on your radar.
For all this and more, click the download button above (or below!). As always, thank you for reading.