Art dealer and founder of JKL Worldwide:
I’m selling off younger artists and buying blue-chip art. When things go back to normal, some of the emerging artists may no longer be in fashion. Blue chip artists, though, will continue to stand the test of time. How many Gustons are out there? How many Lichtensteins? It’s harder and harder to find these works. Things will normalize soon and I think people will continue to want great art.
I have two undeniably good deals in front of me that I’m trying to close. One of the works is about 20% discounted and my offer is 25% below that. Why are the prices so reduced? The seller needs money. I can make at least $500,000 on each of these deals. I have $10 million to $15 million to spend on opportunities.
I just sold about a dozen emerging-art works, with prices ranging from $20,000 to $250,000. That included several works on paper by Ghanaian artist Amoako Boafo for $75,000 to $150,000 that I bought directly from the artist for $10,000 each. With that money, I am only interested in buying blue-chip artists like Joan Mitchell, Cecily Brown and Christopher Wool that I know I can resell at a profit. I’d rather spend $1.5 million on an artwork than $60,000. It’s a safer bet.
Another way to play: I might buy a house in the Hamptons, although I wouldn’t consider it an investment. If we just want to get out of the city and let the kids run around, the Hamptons are my No. 1 choice. It would be a $3 million house, though. We’re not planning to use it in the summer because we have a place in Hawaii. People pay $150,000 to $200,000 for a season in the Hamptons, starting from Memorial Day. If we decided to rent it out, it would pay for itself and then some.