Two of the biggest names in the art boom – which ended unceremoniously over the summer of 2008 – have seen their works fall by half this year. Pieces by Damien Hirst and Jeff Koons, the hottest works under the gavel through the beginning of 2008, could take as much as 10 years for prices to recover.
With the art market in turmoil this year, the contemporary segment suffered, and art collectors steered clear of some of the riskier artists on the market, which included Koons and Hirst. Instead, they turned to Art Deco furniture and pieces from the Old Masters and China, which appeared prominently among the top 10 auction performers this year.
Hirst and Koons still outperformed the contemporary art sector, which fell 75percent overall, thanks in large part to the auction houses' abandoning of guaranteed minimum prices.
According to Artprice, the art auction market surged by a factor of 10 from 2003 to 2008, with its price index for works by Hirst up 996 percent for the 10-year period ending in September 2008, with his "Beautiful Inside My Head Forever" event.
So, now may be the time to snatch up Hirst and Koons. It may take a decade for these artists to see their prices recover, but they did pretty well over the past 10 years.