You know how it is in the art
scene: big checks, big names and big egos like to stay under the radar. Anonymity is the norm, of course, and the buyers of Rothkos and Basquiats don't like to see their names in press releases. Yet, a look under the covers of the TEFAF Maasricht art fair
shows that some pretty important pieces moved for some rather hefty amounts
. The billionaires
came out to play, and dealer and galleries were more than ready to accommodate.
Over 10-days, $2.7 billion of inventory was offered t dealers and museums from around the world. Prices edged higher thanks to a recovering art market
, and impressive pieces found new homes. Jean-Michel's Basquiat
's "Busted Atlas 2" was picked up for $2.4 million by a German collector, sold by Van de Weghe Fine Art
, a gallery
in New York.
Nonetheless, it's not like the art bubble. David Leiber, of New York
's Sperone Westwater gallery, tells Bloomberg News
, "Collectors are adjusting to the new values. We have to charge these prices because we can't replace these works." He adds, "There may be some people who went a little overboard at the auctions
," a sentiment echoed by Paolo Vedovi of Galerie Odermatt-Vedovi. Vedovi observes, "Auctions
are almost a separate market," continuing, "We don't see many of those people. Art fairs aren't as spontaneous. Buyers are cautious and they need to think."