Art Market Update
You may think of property investment and art investment as two distinct and exclusive categories.
A historical exception to this might be the buildings designed by some of the world’s most celebrated architects like Frank Lloyd Wright and Buckminster Fuller. These homes and buildings are considered by many to be works of art in addition to its inherent qualities as pieces of real estate.
Now further examples are emerging to challenge the exclusivity of these two asset classes.
The most notable artist that is doing a lot of the heavy lifting in establishing this merged asset class is Banksy, as he has a penchant for applying his work to the side of buildings. If Banksy were almost any other graffiti artist, his markings would simply be covered up or blasted off. But, due to the incredible demand that exists for his work from collectors and investors, the graffiti becomes a prized possession, and almost certainly lifts the property’s value in the process.
Some of those that have been ‘lucky’ enough for Banksy to graffiti on their property have seen to it that the graffitied portion of the building is removed and sold as a standalone artwork. Others have, more simply, sold the entire building, while trying to fetch a price that reflects the value of the artwork as well as the building/ land to which it is attached.
The latter example is again occurring as I write this market update. A building in LA that was graffitied by Banksy in 2010 with the image of a girl on a swing is up for sale. Agents for the building are expecting a sale price in the vicinity of US $30 million; a considerable appreciation on the US $4 million that the owners paid for it in 2007, and well over the normal appreciation that property has experienced in LA over the past 15 years.
The owners, when speaking to the New York Times, noted that the building itself is worth US $16 million, which means the 12 x 33 foot Banksy mural is being valued at US $10 to US $15 million. We will find out the combined value of the mural/ building on October 6th, when bidding closes.