Jewellery is selling fast
Adrian Biddell of Waterhouse & Dodd, who is former Sotheby’s expert, also says America is still a purchasing powerhouse.
We heard a lot of art is bought in the UK then used in foreign countries as gifts to the powerful rather than going to galleries or private collections. Do you know where art goes to after being purchased?
I don’t think this is too current. Most people purchase art because they are genuine art lovers.
What kind of artworks are the UHNW clients after?
From my experience, whatever people are buying they demand the top quality and have high expectations.
Brand name is really important but, equally, there is a growing appreciation for the very best pieces of art that are not necessarily a household name. People are much more driven visually than by a brand name than they were 20 years ago.
Another change is in people’s perception of art. Clients are not only looking for quality but also consider whether the piece of art is, for example, environmentally friendly. They are much more politically aware and conscious of what’s going on around the world than ever before.
What artwork sells the most?
Contemporary art markets are not the only blossoming ones. Anything that appeals to consumers, for example jewellery, is selling fast. There is definitely a consumer approach to art where you try to turn art into consumers good. The markets are trying to appeal to a broader client base as shopping is universally loved all around the world.
What trends do you see in the art markets?
Western European and American art remains the most modern and contemporary. Chinese art market still has a long way to go but I see a lot of potential. Indian market is developing fast and we are still trying to understand how it can be leveraged.
Other crucial buyers come from Korea, Singapore, and obviously the US. Although there are more opportunities for art trade globally than ever before, America is still a powerhouse.
Adrian Biddell is an art expert at Waterhouse & Dodd.