This week delivers another set of economic indicators in the form of the prices earned in the big sales at Sotheby's and Christie's in New York. The next few weeks bring us the sales in Impressionist, modern, postwar and contemporary art at the competing houses. Many will be watching these auctions as an indicator to see if the art market, which has been booming over the last couple years, is headed for a fall. These are the first big art sales since the sales that take place in May each year. Traditionally the May sales are larger. The Financial Times mentions
that collectors could spend up to $2 billion in the sales, an amount almost three times above the level reached just two years ago.
The art market tends not to fall all at once. Generally it's the new kids, the contemporary art, which loses value first. This art is often beloved by younger collectors, the Wall Street guys looking for something trendy and hot. Jeff Koons, whose heart is shown at right and Damien Hirst are two who have commanded huge prices recently (Hirst is currently the world's most expensive living artist
). The Impressionist and modern artists, the Monets and Picassos of the world won't be plummeting in value any time soon.