Published in Spear’s Magazine, 12 November 2018
The markets of fine art, wine and classic cars are subject to unique influences and fluctuations, so the advice of the top experts identified by Spear’s is crucial, writes Arun Kakar
Over the past 12 months we’ve had the ‘Last Leonardo’ and the ‘Sale of the Century’: what on earth can we expect next? As the art market grows increasingly global, navigating one’s way through it can resemble the work of a detective. Where can one find the best art beyond auction houses – how best to arrange a collection? Once again Spear’s has gone in search of the best art advisers, fiduciaries and experts, handpicked to accommodate every variety of HNW collector: from logistics through to leasing, every aspect is covered in the 2018 Alternative Assets Index, in association with Borro Private Finance.
Impartiality – as rare a commodity as ever in today’s market – is the paramount factor bringing together the experts Spear’s has selected. The art world in 2018 has seemed on the cusp on continuous changes from crypto to contemporary – a strong adviser has never been more essential. ‘The reality is that the client will be the one living with the art,’ says Christie’s head of client advisory Isabelle de la Bruyère, hot off a record year at the auction house and leading this year’s index. The role of an adviser for de la Bruyère is to help remove the market’s intimidation factor for their clients by giving them the means to trust their taste: HNWs always need to be aware that one price doesn’t make a market, she says.
Leading the new entrants this is Harry Smith, executive chairman and managing director of Gurr Johns, who seized headlines after a two-day scoop of 13 Picassos. Meanwhile, Guy Vaissière of Falcon Fine Art bolsters our coverage of art finance as the sector grows among collectors. ‘The European market is continually growing,’ he says of art finance. ‘As more people look to explore options with art markets, it just goes to highlight the relationship between art and money.’ There are also figures familiar to index readers that have continued to maintain momentum – no easy feat, considering how crowded the market has become.
Philip Hoffman continues to pioneer art as an investment, and last year’s rising star Ariane Belisle remains on the cutting edge of contemporary. And no one quite does advisory like the ‘legendary’ Thomas Gibson, whose depth of industry understanding remains unmatched. He tells Spear’s that he can ‘almost always’ source the works that his clients are looking for.