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Posted inOpinion

Why China’s Auction Market is Tops

A study by Artprice finds that the Chinese art market is the largest in the world — but only in terms of auctions. The misleading news bite is telling in other ways, though. The Chinese domestic auction market is growing so quickly in part because Western auction houses like Christie’s and Sotheby’s have failed to dominate even while the Chinese collector community has grown hugely.

Posted inArt

WTF is… the Secondary Market?

Throughout the course of NYC’s art fair week, I overheard questions over what art work was being sold, and who it was being sold to. Of course, art fairs exist to sell work, and the work on display is there to be sold. But where do these works come from? This is where the secondary market comes in. Though most galleries simply sell work from the studios of the artists they represent, the secondary market deals in works that have already been sold, at least once. Fairs like the Armory’s Modern section focus heavily on secondary market works, as do auction houses like Christie’s and Sotheby’s.

Posted inNews

Sunflower Seeds at Sotheby’s: $120,000, Chinese Fakes: $.25

There’s a pile of sunflower seeds on sale at Sotheby’s upcoming February 15 Contemporary Art Evening Auction, and it’s going for an equally large pile of money. How does $120,000 for 100 kilograms of seeds sound? But these aren’t just any seeds: they’re the same hand-crafted porcelain replicas that Chinese artist Ai Weiwei had made for his Turbine Hall installation. The real joke is that a (presumably) fake version of the artist’s work is up on Taobao (the Chinese version of eBay) for only $.25 per seed. Get ’em while they’re dusty (and still online)!

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