Art Basel, the world’s premier art fair where the super-rich shop for Picassos, has opened in the Swiss city.
This year, Picasso’s Woman with Dog is on offer for €28 million, while Miró’s Le Vol d’Oiseau is priced at €22m.
While stock markets have slowed globally, the ultra-high end of the art market has grown to €59 billion.
Clare McAndrew, an art market economist who writes the annual Art Basel global market report, said: “We have seen two years of consistent growth and it grew last year by about 6 per cent, so it has reached about $67 billion [€59 billion], so you can see by size alone that it does spark the interest of the kind of mainstream investment community.”
Financial worries do not tend to affect the ultra-high end of the art market, says New York-based art advisor Todd Levin.
He said: “The truth is if you are worth a billion-plus dollars today, and the market corrects by 30%, then you are worth three-quarters of a billion dollars tomorrow. It is not really going to stymie you too much from going ahead and purchasing works if you so choose to.”
Some 44% of all art sales in 2018 were made in the US, with the UK second on 21% and China on 19%.
Art Basel opened to invited guests and the press on June 11. The show opens to the public on June 13 and runs through June 16.