(Another Vandalog Art Market Post)
Well, the inevitable pricing shakedown seems to have begun. Before the second wave of street art can start, there needs to be a time when prices drop a bit. Right now, nobody knows what anything is worth, so nobody is willing to buy all but the very best work. Just like products in the financial markets right now, there is plenty of good street art out there, but nobody wants to risk buying anything but a masterpiece.
In the past two weeks, I’ve come across three instances of galleries dropping prices on large portions of their inventory (Campbarbossa and Herakut must be feeling pretty pleased with themselves right about now, having already sold everything for Dirty Laundry). Maybe these galleries really do feel like giving us all a 10-35% discount just for the heck of it, but I’m guessing that’s not the case. I think this downturn is just a temporary blip though. True collectors who know what they want (as well as savvy investors with cash to spare) could get some great deals right now.
Even Faile’s Lost in Glimmering Shadows isn’t as hot as expected. Those canvases sold okay (even if they’ll be going right to storage), but it seems like just six months ago, a Faile show could sell out before the paint was dry.
Six months ago, the primary market was the place to find deals, and the secondary market was the place for sellers to make profits and buyers to find something rare and special. Now that sellers are trying to get rid of inventory, the secondary market seems to have the deals and the primary market’s role is just to put new work on the market.
Once all this uncertainty about pricing is over, collectors will stop buying street art just because it’s done with a spray can, and start buying work by artists that are actually talented. More international artists will probably come into play. For example, Australia has a huge scene, but other than Anthony Lister and a few others, those artists haven’t made it big in Europe yet.
These gallery-wide price cuts won’t last forever, so take advantage of them soon if you can.