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The Opportunist’s Guide to Art

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Let’s be clear: Buying art is always a luxury, and especially right now. That said, if you’re sitting on a little money and craving a little beauty, now may in fact be a good time to buy. The art-market crash of the early nineties resulted in “historically phenomenal years to buy art,” says dealer David Zwirner, and this climate holds the same potential. Waiting lists for work are mostly a thing of the past. Dealers are much more willing to negotiate. And if you’ve had your eye on an emerging artist’s work, you may now be able to buy it directly (and hence less expensively) from the artist himself, as several galleries around the city have, sadly, closed. For those fortunate few with several hundred thousand to play with, pieces are coming on to the market that might not have before, because, as dealer Marc Glimcher puts it, sellers “need the cash.” Plus, auction houses are setting more reasonable estimates. If the boom taught us anything, it’s that value is highly subjective (also: real-estate prices don’t always go up). Art shouldn’t be thought of as a cool T-bond or some snazzy investment vehicle with potentially stunning returns. But it’s a lot more fun to look at every day.


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