In her latest book, art insider Barbara Guggenheim goes behind the velvet easel of the often cliquey and cut-throat art world.
Barbara Guggenheim says her new book “helps beginning collectors, sophisticates, and those who just want to know more get the most out of their encounters with art.”
In your new book, Art World: The New Rules of the Game (Marmont Lane; $30), you demystify the buying and selling of art. How is art acquisition different today? BARBARA GUGGENHEIM: In the past, collecting was the realm of the very few. If, for example, a Monet came onto the market, everyone knew who the likely suspects were who could buy it. Today, the market is global, with buyers from all over the world—China, South America, and Russia—and they are all highly active.
What are your strategies for collecting? BG: As an advisor, I feel that I’m a combination art historian, financial analyst, and psychologist. It’s fun when a client distinguishes their collections from others by their choices. I have a client whose life as a commodities trader is hectic. He collects Ellsworth Kelly and Donald Judd to give him the serenity he needs at home.
Which emerging artists are you eyeing now? BG: The heat is on an LA artist, Jonas Wood, whose realist paintings have pushed the limits of what other realist painters have done before.
The art world is a closed universe. How does one gain entrée? BG: Working with an advisor shortcuts the process. Dealers know the most active advisors and know that they’re serious about building clients’ collections. Everyone wants to be part of that—particularly dealers!