Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Follow the money

When Andy Warhol said, “Making money is art and working is art and good business is the best art,” he might have been thinking of Webb’s recent broadsheet publication outlining where the contemporary art money flows through auction.

The big bucks all go to paintings of course and mostly painted by guys. And so (via the Australian Sales Digest) Webb’s tells us that the 50 most valuable works by Bill Hammond sold at auction raked in $3.7 million at an average of $74,000 each. Remember though that just three of the top 50 went for a combined total of $858,000 including Hammond’s top dollar sale of $293,000.

In the last 20 years Webb’s alone have sold 194 works by Colin McCahon bringing in $12 million. But Ralph Hotere, we hear you ask, what about Hotere? Well, his top 50 sales at auction have attracted $5.9 million with Webb’s best effort bringing in $315,000. The other heavy auction hitter of course is Shane Cotton with $2 million coming in from the top 50 sales and a highest price of $257,000.