Even in tough times, contemporary art sells. That’s why Morley Safer is back on the art beat, and although he doesn’t like much of what he sees at Miami’s Art Basel, there’s no denying that sales are strong.
CBS: “Even if contemporary art seems alien or odd to you, consider this: the market for this art has outperformed the Standard & Poor’s list of 500 common stocks since 2003. Morley Safer is back on the art beat, attending the most important contemporary art fair in the world: Art Basel Miami Beach. It’s a matter of taste whether the paintings, sculpture, and what-nots are good art, but as a good investment, art is indisputably hotter than ever. In fact, elite art buyers – many from Russia and China — are so ravenous that the contemporary art market raked in over $5 billion in auction sales last year.”
Los Angeles Times: “On Sunday, “60 Minutes” aired a segment surveying the current art-market boom, with Morley Safer reporting from Art Basel Miami Beach. While the segment didn’t offer much in the way of new news, especially for people who follow the contemporary art scene, it featured interviews with three key players of the L.A. art world — Eli Broad, Jeffrey Deitch and Tim Blum.
Safer’s report is a follow-up to his 1993 segment “Yes… but is it art?” The controversial piece questioned whether certain cutting-edge works qualified as art and landed Safer in hot water with some viewers who branded him a philistine.
Sunday’s story attempted to examine why the art market has managed to outperform the S&P 500 and defy the current economic recession. Blum, who is the co-owner of the Blum & Poe gallery, described today’s art market as the “wild west” and a “bizarre place to do business.”
“This is all theater,” he said, referring to the buying and selling at Art Basel. He also said the boom in art prices is “inexplicable.” ”