New York (PRWEB) September 25, 2011
This Special New Investment Report was directed by Art Critic Stan Zipperman, under the auspices of the Art Collectors Website Group of Art and Video related online websites. (http://www.artcollectorswebsite.com)
With world-famous paintings fetching record prices as fine art investments, billionaire art collectors, investors and lovers are making money on "safe haven" art investments, which are now outperforming all other popular investment classes as stock and bonds, mutual funds, exchange traded funds, real estate, commodities, currencies, even gold and highly-leveraged hedge funds, according to the newest information from Google News, the Wall Street Journal, BBC, Forbes, the New York Times, CNN and Fox News in addition to online art-specific news, research and indexing sources as Art Net, Artprice and Mutual Art.
As prices for world-famous paintings are reported soaring even the newest billionaires are splurging on acquisitions for their permanent art collections as the smartest hedge or diversification strategy to protect or build their wealth.
In the United States, leading the charge financial figures and business advisers as hedge fund manager Steve Cohen as well as other Wall Street experts Donald Marron, David Ganek, Leon Black, Henry Kravis, Glenn Fuhrman and Ken Griffin.
As a diversification strategy, return on investment (ROI) for famous paintings has evidenced strong profits since the world-wide recession and the flight from equities to safe haven investments that began circa 2008. With the ever-changing global drama and dynamics almost shutting down the economies of Greece, Spain, Portugal and Ireland, and the governments of Libya, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Syria, Egypt and Yemen, including England, France and Italy to a lesser extent, it is no easy task to predict the future --- when or where the next social/political uprising, crisis or revolution will erupt.
To address this point, from the United Nations comes a new report entitled, "World Economic Situation and Prospects" (WESP): The summary simply states, "Weakness in major developed economies continue to drag the global recovery and pose risks for world economic stability in the coming years."
The science of searching out and tracking the best "safe haven" investment trends in recent years has been well-documented. Admittedly, the buoyancy of the international art market for world-renowned paintings has become a special opportunity that has few equals during these times as an investment asset class.
Arguably, the most famous of paintings are usually described as "priceless." The vast majority of the most celebrated artworks are in the "buy and hold" hands of investors in their private art galleries or on walls of museums and are rarely offered for sale! Curators of leading museums, especially from the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Louvre and the Musee d'Orsay in Paris, and the Tate in London, for example, have long held that Image is everything. To accumulate a priceless treasure --- THE-ONE-AND-ONLY original masterpiece --- has "priceless value" not only in the pride and power of ownership but also in the control of the painting's destiny.
According to Google, a source of global information and research, when a famous painting does come on the market these days in a private behind-the-scenes transaction, it usually comes from a private art collection or an estate, with a price tag that invariably reflects the art market's supply and demand.
By contrast, in "The Auction Arena," is an open reality. Who will the players be for the evening's major offering on the auction block? It could be a TV reality show. The billionaires are competing against other billionaires and often against any number of the 26,000 plus museums housed on this planet or increasingly against art fund managers, corporate CEOs and international bankers.
Picasso's "Nude, Green Leaves and Bust," whose cubist subject is Picasso's mistress, Marie-Therese, originally purchased in Hollywood for $15,000 in 1951, sold at Christie's in New York for a record-setting $105.6 million in 2010. The mystery billionaire had to be the highest bidder among seven other rivals to take possession of the artwork!
Newer billionaire, millionaire and wealthy bidders now are coming from the emerging BRIC nations: Brazil, Russia, India, and China. Add to this Belgium, Switzerland and Israel plus the luminaries of the established royalty of art as Larry Gagosian, Eli Broad, Paul Allen, Bill Gates, Leonard Lauder, Ronald Lauder, David Geffen, Sam Newhouse, Jr., Steve Wynn, Ken Griffin, Steve Martin, Larry Ellison, Charles Saatchi, Richard Green, Bernard Steinitz, Bernard Arnault, Francois Pinault, Roman Abramovitch, Dakis Jouannoun, Dimitri Mavrommatis, Naguib Sawiris, Nasser David Khalili, Sheikh Saud al-Than and the Emir of Kuwait and you have a full house with billionaires.
In the wings, are the Who's New in the celebrity in-crowd from the Hollywood, New York and London music, movie, fashion and sports scenes as Beyonce and Jay-Z, David and Victoria Beckham, Marc Jacobs, and Jennifer Aniston to name names.
What do billionaire investors look for in a famous work of art? The "golden rules" of art collecting and investing practiced among the recognized gurus and art dealers are: Story, Subject and Image --- the same factors that made the painting famous in the first place!
How does a painting become world-famous? Time was, until recently, when it used to be that museums provided the platforms or the gallery walls which enabled paintings in their exhibitions to gain enough exposure and attention to become famous. The web has changed all that in today's art scene. Updated published information on the Internet shows that Google alone is getting over 91 million searches per day. Google Images has grabbed the limelight of the viewing public and established itself as the world's largest "online 24-hour museum" where countless millions of world-wide art lovers can view ALL the most world-famous paintings ALL at once.
Research has also revealed that many paintings which are sold at auction these days did not actually become famous until AFTER they fetched high or record prices! Christie's, Sotheby's and Phillips de Pury have mastered marketing and publicity that make international headline news.
Furthermore, while the female nude remains one of the most favored subjects of all in art (think of the nudes of Dali, Modigliani, Picasso, Manet, Gauguin, Duchamp, Goya, Renoir, and Botticelli), a female figure doesn't necessarily translate into a classical nude. "Benefits Supervisor Sleeping," by the late Lucien Freud, which sold at Christie's in 2008 for a price-setting $33.6 million for a then living artist, is not described as a classic nude portrait!
On the other hand, another world-famous painting is Jim Warren's controversial and charismatic nude portrait, "Sexual Explosion." Even though it remains in a secret private collection, the muse, once banned from public exhibition in the United States as "too sexy," became the heroine of the Sexual Revolution during the seventies. The Story, Subject and Image plus the shocking but relevant Title, came together to capture the imagination of the public. Eventually "Sexual Explosion" achieved the reputation as "the ultimate nude painting" and earned a spot on the 2011 "Top 10 Most Famous Paintings in the Art World" list.
A world-famous painting with a Story, Subject and Image is Andy Warhol's "Marilyn Monroe" series. A famous painter paints a celebrated movie star who has just died under mysterious circumstances. The art market embraced one more new famous image or in this case, many differently-colored limited edition images! What you also experience is an example of Andy Warhol's branding and marketing skills and wizardry at its most cost-efficient (for him) and most costly (for his buyers)!
And alas --- Ah, the Mona Lisa, the Louvre Museum's "raison d'etre" --- (FYI, the Louvre holds more than 35,000 other artworks in its collection in addition to the portrait of the divine Miss M L.). The Leonardo da Vinci muse recently became a "character" in the best-selling novel and top-grossing Hollywood movie, "The da Vinci Code," which gave her even wider world-wide visibility.
So there you have it. It all boils down to a shortage of supply and an insatiable demand! When everything is said and done, the resiliency of the world-famous paintings market has proven to be the billionaires' "ultimate safe haven" art investment dream come true. Ultimately, when it's time to bid up or shut up, the only answer is overwhelmingly loud and clear --- to step up to the occasion and BID UP!