ArtTactic Forecaster – and some art price guides

28 October 2013 § Leave a comment

For anyone who feels that they might be a dab hand at art investment its well worth taking a look at the new ArtTactic Forecaster – an online ‘guess the art price’ website. Yours Truly is of course competing assidously and is sitting comfortably and tactically at 6th overall (as absolutbargain!) – waiting to make a move for the top when the others aren’t looking. I’ll keep you updated!

Screen Shot 2013-10-28 at 18.17.43Sign up (for free) and every few days the site is updated with works each from a few new auctions. Auctions are worldwide, from the major auction houses and are categorised in to such area as Contemporary Photography, Contemporary Painting, Prints and Sculpture for example. Images, details and estimates are given for the works and using a slider you enter your own prediction for the sales price or estimate as a ‘No Sale’. After the sale you are marked school-style – a point for correct or a half point for close. ArtTactic then draws up league tables in each category as well as overall.

Screen Shot 2013-10-28 at 18.29.59It is of course ‘just for fun’ and is a very appropriate and sobering reminder of just how difficult it is to accurately forecast auction results. Get more than 2 of the 5 right and you’re probably moving up the league table! The difficulty is most clearly brought home by the fact that the auction houses themselves would be well down the tables if their estimates were counted as their entries in the competition. They might say that their estimates are often tactical rather than necessarily accurate – but then again they would wouldn’t they!

Screen Shot 2013-10-28 at 19.40.19There is a more serious aim to the competition of course as ArtTactic presumably aim to attract investors and collectors to their product. ArtTactic after all is an art market analysis firm that offers research and commentary on the ever-changing art world. As new markets emerge and tastes shift, ArtTactic wants to offer the expertise for your to keep a close eye current and future art investments supported by ‘up to the minute information from all corners of the globe.’

Screen Shot 2013-10-28 at 19.16.48It has competition of course, all with slightly differing angles and priorities. Here are the main – and pretty much only – contenders: MutualArt (my personal favourite) , ArtPrice (French, and appropriately awkward to use), Blouin Art Sales Index (and online magazine), Artnet (a US company who also run online auctions), Artfacts (includes a very useful and pretty accurate free-to-use  artist ranking guide), Artfact (no ‘s’ – where you can also bid on various online auctions) and Gordons Print & Photography Prices (now part of Blouin, produce annual printed guides).

Screen Shot 2013-10-28 at 19.18.31

Anyone who doesn’t plan to use an advisor or consultant when buying art (in truth by far the wisest way to invest) it would be very foolish indeed not to sign up to one of the premium packages available from one or more of these companies. A full auction record of any artist you are investing in is an absolute must and along with various guides to the performance of individual artists or different sectors allows an insight not otherwise available.

A final word of warning beware the free to use companies – some of whom like Artsy are very professional indeed, who purport to offer a guide to prices, when they are in reality more like a selling platform for art of very varying quality.

pordenone montanari – postscript

18 August 2010 § Leave a comment

I stumbled upon some more information regarding the rather dubious ‘discovery’ of Italian ‘genius’ Montanari – please see my post from 16 August entitled Pordenone Montenari – genius or senile dauber? I was checking out the artmarketblog of Nicholas Forrest when I read his post regarding some alternative art hedging ventures. Here is his summary dated 3 August 2010, which is itself based on an Art Newspaper article dated 6 July 2010:

Over in India, another innovative art investment project has been started by an Indian entrepreneur. Indian investor Arun Rangachari, chairman of venture capital firm DAR Capital, has purchased the rights to the entire life’s work of a reclusive Italian artist by the name of Montanari, who has lived in seclusion for the past 18 years. Rangachari is building up an art collection, of which the work of Montanari will play a significant part, with the intention of setting up an art fund in the future. Before selling any of the paintings, Rangachari plans to increase the value of Montanari’s work by holding exhibitions and building a foundation dedicated to the artist’s work. According to artnewspaper.com ‘His (Rangachari’s) first art investment consists of 40 paintings by the Italian artist Americo Montanari, with the option to buy many more……..When asked why his art fund would succeed when other ventures, including Indian-based funds, had recently failed he said: “Our entry level will be affordable, we’ll be focusing on artists who have not yet built a reputation and we will have no hidden costs, everything will be up front, so we’ll be quite different from everyone else.”

Apart from the artists first name (a mistake I assume) this is basically the same story ‘broken’ by the Observer on Sunday. Interestingly rather than the farcical assertion (Observer) that 500 paintings had been purchased for an assumed £5-10 million there seem to be just 40 ‘with options’.

His knowledge of art? This from the Art Newspaper: “I don’t know anything about art at the moment. I’ve just started learning,” said Rangachari whose other business interests range from media technology and commercial agriculture to adventure sports, Bollywood films and the theatrical rights to the Indian Premier League (ie showing cricket on large screens in public venues).

So here we have the real story. Let me summarise quite bluntly: a wealthy financial speculator, with no knowledge in art,  has bought a number of almost worthless paintings with the plan to hype them up into something of value, before selling them on to gullible investors aspart of an investment fund.

For my personal view on his future ‘art fund’ please arrange the following words in to a popular phrase: with a dont barge-pole it touch.

If you like this post please make a comment or like it. If you like the blog please subscribe for regular updates (top right of page). Many thanks! akuta 

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