Stock of Art Basel Miami Beach: a prediction for the art market in 2023

The 20th edition of Art Basel Miami Beach, which closed on December 3, represents the current moment of the art market. (@nachomartinfilms)

After several intense days touring the 20th edition of Art Basel Miami Beach we can draw some conclusions that, when it comes to contemporary art, are never definitive. But they are a reflection of the moment that the art market.

The year was marked by record auctions, both in May and November. Global art fairs were also successful: an auspicious start marked Art Basel Paris and, as other times, acclaimed meetings ended as TEFAF, FRIEZE, The Armory Show Y BOW, just to name a few. It was assumed that Art Basel Miami Beach was going to be the icing on the dessert of the season. And this prediction has been confirmed, although not without nuances.

Chair, Art Basel - Miami Art Week
After a year marked by sales records, Art Basel Miami Beach performed accordingly. (@nachomartinfilms)

The big galleries secured their first sales two hours after the fair started: it is evident that the recession in the markets does not affect the collectors of the market high end. Regarding the range of works by so-called lower end of the market, there was more caution than in previous editions. Most of the buyers were American and European. A recurring comment among dealers and gallery owners was the fear of a possible recession after a record season: a worrying calm after the sales storm.

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I believe that we are facing a new market that arose from the pandemic, with new rules and new capitals. Chinese, Saudis and Russians are the actors that have entered the art market with hard and hard money, and they themselves, with their acquisitions, are the ones who generate the guarantee on these works.

Art Basel - Miami Art Week
The high end market fared much better than the lower end, more tied to the economy in general. (@nachomartinfilms)

That alters some assumptions. When in 2008 Lehman Brothers went bankrupt in New York and the Dow Jones index fell 500 points, causing an implosion in all the world’s stock markets and the beginning of a global financial crisis, we finally understood that large investments in art were linked to economic cycles. Today, however, something happens that has no historical similarity, given the players who interact in the new setting.

On the other hand, it is necessary to clarify that the low art market has suffered a slowdown in sales. This segment, tied to the vicissitudes of the economy, presents a thorny path for galleries and artists. entry level and mid-career who today are trying to break through globally.

Art Basel - Miami Art Week
“I think we are facing a new market that emerged from the pandemic, with new rules and new capital,” analyzed gallery owner Lucas Kokogian. (@nachomartinfilms)

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By its realization in December, Art Basel always gives us tools to think forecasts for the following year. I believe that in 2023 the auction market will continue to be strong, expanding and growing. The great galleries will continue to open to Asia and the big players in the international market will bet a lot of their money on the purchase of art.

In relation to Miami and its consolidation as a world artistic pole: this trend, evidently, is here to stay.

Its tax benefits, its location, its hotel capacity, its wide culinary offer, its climate and even its famous festivals make the city and its beaches an oasis for a week full of artistic agenda and enjoyment of the good life. I am encouraged to affirm that in the next two years we will see an accelerated proliferation of openings of art galleries, collections, foundations and related institutions that will decisively transform Miami and catapult it among the three important artistic capitals on the world map.

Art Basel - Miami Art Week
This edition of Art Basel consolidated Miami as a world artistic pole. (@nachomartinfilms)

There are those who consult with agents of real estate for the purchase of brick; others search the stock market for people to manage their investment portfolio; others explore buying and selling crypto. I would advise all of them that, given the balance of this edition of Art Basel Miami Beach, it is time to lose their fear of investing in art and begin their adventure in this thriving market. “For those who are afraid, everything is noise”, Sophocles summed up, and this week of art encourages us not to see risks where there are none.

Lucas Kokogian has 15 years of experience in the Latin American art market and now adds the European one with two offices in Madrid and one in Berlin. His Azur auction house, in Buenos Aires, is a market leader. Under the same name he opened a fifth branch in Miami.


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