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Art is an investment to appreciate and the market is thriving

Lifestyle

Art is an investment to appreciate and the market is thriving

Even if artworks don’t increase in value, they provide their owners with intangible benefits that equities do not

Tyler Cowen

Technology stocks have taken a deep dive, blue-chip stocks are ailing, stablecoins aren’t stable and don’t even ask about traditional crypto. Art markets, however, are alive and well — and it’s worth asking why.

Recently an Andy Warhol painting sold at auction for $195m (about R3bn), the highest price ever for a 20th-century artwork. A dance hall-themed painting by Ernie Barnes went for $15.3m (about R240m), 76 times the original estimate. The Macklowe collection sold at Sotheby’s for $246.1m (about R4bn), the most ever for a single collection.

Anyone else notice a pattern? The vigour of the art market may seem counterintuitive, but it makes sense in the current environment...

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