Art ‘bubble’ no deterrent – Patrick van der Vorst


Image courtesy of njaj/

There is no need to be deterred by the prospect that the art market is in a ‘bubble’ – especially if you choose your investments wisely. That is the view of Patrick van der Vorst, founder of online valuation service

“The question of the bubble is complex – did economists predict the 2008 American housing bubble which led to an international economic crisis? Well, like in 2008, some speak about the doom of the art market, but in my view art will remain as a treaty alternative and tangible asset and we can’t see this coming to a halt,” he says. “Also, if one buys against market trends, such as buying good 18th century furniture now, or collect silver, there is only upside possible in the future.”

Van der Vorst sees the current state of the global art market as bullish, with new collectors from around the globe thirsty for fresh to the market works – and against this backdrop, the internet is working in the global art market’s favour as news regarding exhibitions, auctions, collections, and museum events is able to reach people through a click of a button.

“We are seeing dissemination of art market news at a rapid pace and with this access comes greater responsibility for research institutions to provide accurate and up to date information,” he says. “It is an exciting time to be part of this change from the local to the global and it is certainly a great position for both buyers and sellers. This does, however, mean more competition across the board whether that be for auction houses against one another or for buyers against buyers as ‘deals’ on great pictures are few and far between.”

He says that Latin American Art and artists are on the rise at present, as is the Contemporary Art market as a whole, but only the solid artists remain, with a lot of young artists who had a buzz and short lived success falling by the wayside.

“The Old Masters and the Impressionist paintings and prints will continue to hold value throughout time,” he says. “These first painters are the ones who taught us how to see and look at art and will always maintain their significance in the history of art.

“African Art is just starting to become collectable. The Post-Impressionists and Fauvists like Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso used tribal masks and a source of inspiration for their portraits and paintings; however the work did not yet become collectable for the critical mass until today.”

After launching as an online valuation site three years ago, ValueMyStuff recently rebranded to offer a raft of other services, including AuctionMyStuff, which offers items for sale with the added reassurance that they have been evaluated by ValueMyStuff’s experts.

Van der Vorst says that when choosing a time to sell work it is advisable to pay attention to the current art market.

“My best advice would be to sell when you are ready to part with an item; being forced to sell because of economic pressures is never a fun way to sell.

“That being said, a good way to know when to sell is to follow market and seasonal trends. Predicting the market, whether financial or art, can seem like an opaque process for those who do not live and breathe the relevant news and results. The advice that I can give, and do give people, is to become familiar with the auction season and the different auction houses. Look at results and see what people are selling – ask yourself what does well and think of the reasons why.”