Australian Art Market Blog goes live

Art Press Release from Australia. Published by Rebecca Gabrielle Cannon on Monday 23 March 2009.

Nicholas Forrest, author of the very informative Art Market Blog, is kicking off a new online publication focussed specifically on the Australian art market. We shot Nicholas a few questions so he could show off the style of insight that will be available on his aptly titled

I’ve found Art Market Blog pretty useful over the years, especially in terms of researching annual art market figures. You state yourself that Art Market Blog is very successful, how do you measure the success of an online resource like a blog?
There are many different ways that I measure the success of my blog. For me, the most significant measure of success for my work on the Art Market Blog is the recognition I receive from my peers which might take the form of a reference to my work in an article or a link to my blog on a website. To date my work on the Art Market Blog has been mentioned on the New York Times website, the Wall Street Journal website, the Conde Nast Portfolio website, the Business Week website, the Saatchi Gallery website, in Flash Art Magazine, in Antiques and Collectibles for Pleasure and Profit magazine, in Graal Collection magazine, on Australian and American national radio shows as well as on hundreds of other websites and in many other magazines.
What sort of audience size does it reach?
The Art Market Blog receives between 800 and 1000 visitors a day.
Do you get much feedback from art collectors or other professionals about the information you provide being of use to their practise of art collecting?
I get feedback from art collectors and art market professionals all the time telling me how useful and helpful the information I provide is. I had an email last week from a collector who said that they had purchased several of the limited edition works that I had recommended. Another email I received a couple of weeks ago from an artist that I had profiled credited me with being responsible for his new found success and even went as far as to call me his Peggy Guggenheim.
What sort of demographic data do you have about your readership?
Most of the readers of the Art market Blog are from America and Europe and include people of all ages and backgrounds. I try to provide information that is relevant to collectors, investors, art lovers and art market professionals of all ages and levels of experience which means that the readership is extremely diverse.
How often will you be posting on the Australian market compared to the international market?
I will be writing posts on the Australian market on average once every couple of days.
Do you think that the global financial crisis is affecting art sales?
The global financial crisis has definitely affected art sales. In general, the amount of money people are willing to pay for works of art has dropped significantly and buyers are much more discerning and cautious when it comes to decisions relating to the purchase and sale of art. The Australian art market is large enough to have experienced the same inflation of the prices being paid for art as the world’s major markets experienced during the art market boom and, as such, has experienced the same effects of the global financial crisis. Far from being a bad thing, the global financial crisis has helped realign the focus back onto the art itself as opposed to the unhealthy obsession with the financial side of art that was the dominant force during the art market boom.
Is providing commentary on the art market a full time job for you, or do you provide other services to the arts?
Providing commentary on the art market is only a small part of the work that I do. I also work as an art critic as well as an art market analyst and art consultant for private and corporate clients. I am currently in the process of starting a new business that will provides services to the art market on a global scale.
Are there any other art market commentators you enjoy reading that our audience might be interested in?
There are very few regular art market commentators but I do enjoy the Modern Art Obsession blog written by an American stock broker and art collector who refers to himself as MAO. An informative and entertaining read for anyone interested in modern art and the art market.

What are some recent works you have collected yourself? Have you traded work in the past, and if so how have you found this from an investment perspective.
I have quite a large and eclectic art collection that consists of around 30 works ranging from antique engravings to contemporary photography. My most recent purchase was an early watercolour by James Gleeson whose work I really love and believe to be extremely undervalued. I also collect contemporary photography with the latest addition to the collection being a work by American photographer Adia Millet who creates small scale doll size models of buildings complete with wacky interiors which she then photographs. Very cool indeed.
Trading works of art is something that I am constantly doing and although I have experienced quite a high rate of success I would never put all my money in art and would not recommend that anyone invest all their money in art either. I love buying and selling art but do so as part of a wider investment strategy. Art can be a great investment, especially if you can enjoy it, but is best approached as a pleasurable means of diversification that forms part of a well planned investment strategy.
What avenues do you recommend trading through?
Art is a long term investment that is likely to require a holding period of at least 5 years so my advice to anyone wanting to invest in art would be to take the time to do your research, get expert advice and find a work of art that you can enjoy owning and that is also good investment. It may take a bit of time and the advice of an art consultant to find a work that you enjoy and that is also a good investment but the rewards will be well worth the effort.
There are many different ways of investing in art many of which are fraught with problems and are not suited to the unique characteristics and intricacies of the art market. Sticking to the traditional avenues of buying and selling art such as auction houses and galleries is the safest and most straight forward avenue for investing in art.
Who are your top 5 Australian artists to keep an eye on, and why?
This is a difficult question because there are at least 50 contemporary Australian artists that I believe are well worthy keeping an eye on. However, if I had to pick five I would have to say Julie Rrap, Fiona Hall, Benjamin Armstrong, James Angus and Soda Jerk because these five artists are at the cutting edge of artistic practice and are producing absolutely amazing work that is up there with the world’s top contemporary artists. As collectors and investors become more accepting of the cutting edge work being produced by many contemporary artists and more confident in the market for new artistic mediums such as video art (as opposed to the traditional paintings and sculptures), the market for works by such artists is beginning to blossom.
More in store at