Filed under: Art
Despite the large flushing sound that's accompanied the art market this year, there are still 10 collectors worth noting. In fact, ARTnews was even able to cobble together a top 200 list this year (if they went to 300, I figure I'd wind up on the list, too, given the state of the art market right now). The names in the top 10 still represent the art collecting elite, they just happen to be in much worse shape than they were at this time last year.
Roman Abramovich, Russian billionaire and art addict, takes the #1 spot. It would be easy to zero in on any one of several purchases last year and call it "defining," but the man spent a few hundred million on art. The most expensive pickup was a Francis Bacon triptych which set him back almost $90 million.
Top 10 Art Collectors (according to ARTnews):
- Roman Abramovich
- Debra and Leon Black
- Edythe L. and Eli Broad
- Steven Cohen
- Marie-Josee and Henry Kravis
- Jo Carole and Ronald S. Lauder
- Francois Pinault
- Mitchell Rales
- Carlos Slim Helu
- Sheikh Saud bin Mohammed bin Ali al-Thani
Okay, so you take a quick look at this list and realize that Abramovich, who requested a bailout from the Russian government, isn't the only flawed personality it contains. Steven A. Cohen, the Connecticut-based hedge fund manager, owns a dead rotting shark. While Damien Hirst's ego is built to last, his creations are more like personal computers ... planned obsolescence. Kravis, who sits atop esteemed and powerful private equity firm KKR, was not left unscathed by the current financial crisis. The precipitous drop in oil prices over the past year must have left the sheikh in a rough spot, and Slim thought he could make money by investing in a newspaper (that's just
fucking stupid ... almost as stupid as paying $90 million for a 1970s Bacon, frankly).
Maybe we'll see some changes over the next year. I wouldn't mind writing about an unknown visionary busting into the winners circle at this time next summer. Now, all we have to do is find one.