Tag: art market

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Sydney Contemporary 2023

Wednesday, September 13th, 2023 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

Contemporary art is forever making statements about political and social justice, but there’s no escaping the fact that art fairs are massive commercial enterprises in which artworks are, first and foremost, commodities. Is there anything wrong with that? No, not unless you are making work that is a strident denunciation of the capitalist system. In […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Singapore Art Fair 2023

Tuesday, February 7th, 2023 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

Visitors to the new Singapore Art Fair were greeted by a large Robert Indiana sculpture spelling out the word ‘LOVE’. It was an invitation to locals and visitors to share a love of contemporary art that has struggled to take root in this prosperous island state. This time around, there was no room for hesitation. […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Sydney Contemporary 2022

Tuesday, September 13th, 2022 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

It’s been three long years since the last Sydney Contemporary, and the market is more of a puzzle than ever. During the pandemic, when predictions of doom and gloom abounded, many local art dealers enjoyed surprisingly good seasons. It’s widely believed this was because wealthy collectors who had got into the habit of purchasing work […]

Film Reviews

The Lost Leonardo

Saturday, December 11th, 2021 Film Reviews,

Yves Bouvier is either one of the world’s sharpest operators or a man with a death wish. In 2013, on behalf of exiled Russian oligarch, Dmitry Rybolovlev, the Swiss agent purchased the painting, Salvator Mundi, allegedly by Leonardo da Vinci, for US$75 million. He then passed it on to his client for US$127.5 million. The […]


Banksy: Love is in the Bin (Again)

Thursday, October 14th, 2021 Blog,

It may seem ridiculous that anyone would pay £1.04 million (AUD $1.95 million), for Banksy’s Balloon Girl in 2018, but it’s slightly nauseating that a half-shredded version, rechristened Love is in the Bin, should be selling for £4-6 million in 2021. One might go even further and say Banksy’s entire career is a gravity-defying absurdity, […]


Art and Money Revisited

Friday, June 18th, 2021 Journals,

When Robert Hughes delivered his jeremaiad, Art and Money, in 1984, it seemed as if the earth would surely open up and swallow the greedy dealers, the opportunistic artists, the vulgar, nouveau riche collectors who had wrought such pestilence upon the fair face of Art. The gist of Hughes’s argument was that art was being […]


Indigenous Art: Where are we going?

Friday, June 18th, 2021 Journals,

“Aboriginal artists say that it is difficult to find any Aboriginal art that is devoid of spiritual meaning. Art is their culture, their work, their worship, their history. A painting is a chronicle of their country, a map of myths, a memoir of the great spirit ancestors of the Dreamtime. And their paintings are inextricably […]


2020: The Year in Review

Tuesday, February 9th, 2021 Blog,

In March last year a friend in Bangladesh forwarded a news item that said Australia’s borders would be closed until September. “Is it true!!!!” he exclaimed. I was sceptical and replied that neither the economy nor people’s limits of endurance would allow the closures to last that long. I thought we’d be flying again within […]


The Art Market in the Time of COVID

Tuesday, December 1st, 2020 Blog,

A new Australian auction record for Brett Whiteley’s painting, Henri’s Armchair, puts the star on top of the Christmas tree for the local art market in a year when only doom and gloom were predicted. Indeed, one local auction supremo tells me that things have never been better. The plague year 2020 has seen a […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Back to the galleries

Thursday, June 11th, 2020 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

One can look at a million artworks on-line but there’s no substitute for the real thing. It may sound obvious but it’s a point worth emphasising in a world in which the COVID-19 lockdown has transformed public and private galleries into digital showcases. Last week many of the commercial galleries began opening their doors again, […]