Investing in art is still a relatively new concept in post-communist Poland, but experts who gathered at last month’s International Art Industry Forum in Vienna agreed that it is quickly becoming a popular form of investing money and diversifying portfolios among the country’s affluent.
Poland’s art investment market is nevertheless still in its “early stages,” said Jakub Kokoszka, president of the board at auction house Abbey House, and a guest speaker at the Vienna forum.
Its fledgling nature is due to Poland’s tumultuous history and stymied economic development – factors which mean there has been little money spent on educating people about the value of art. Consequently, a strong tradition of collecting artwork has not developed in Poland.
“There is no deeply rooted collecting habit in Poland as there is in Austria, for example,” said Sergey Skaterschikov, CEO of Skate’s Art Market Research.
In addition, the customer base for artwork is small, and “their pockets are not so deep,” said Andras Szanto, curator of the International Art Industry Forum in New York.
Moreover, with some notable exceptions, Polish art is not well known among wealthy international investors.
“International investors, those who can afford the more expensive pieces, tend to look first to artists they know, to those who have the backing of established galleries and art institutions,” he added.
Growth in store
Nevertheless, the Polish art market has been growing quickly of late. Turnover on Poland’s art auction market increased 90 percent, from zł.15.8 million in the first half of 2011, to zł.30.1 million in H1 2012, according to a report by Abbey House.
|Source: Abbey House|
“The Polish market has more momentum than the Hungarian or the Czech art markets for example,” said Christian W. Roehl, supervisory board member of German art dealer Weng Fine Art.
Poland’s relatively strong economy is helping underpin this growth.
“Poland is one of the most interesting economies in Europe these days. I happen to manage money out of Luxembourg and [when it comes to stocks] … Poland is our second priority market after Germany in terms of value and growth that we see there,” said Mr Skaterschikov.
He added that Poland’s art market shouldn’t in fact be put in a basket with its CEE peers, but should instead be compared with those in Western Europe.
“Art is the most popular alternative asset group, as investing in art is motivated by the need to secure capital from the crisis,” said Maciej Gajewski, an art market analyst at Abbey House.
“The crisis has given impetus to the global art market, and Poland is beginning to reflect this trend,” he added.
From Warsaw Business Journal by Izabela Depczyk
Marilyn Monroe auction raises zł.2.4 million
Art&Business magazine debuts on NewConnect
Young artists look to reinterpret history
Art auction market's turnover up 90 percent in H1
Commemorating Europe Day, EU faces key challenges
BY Stratfor Global Intelligence
Deputy PM cries out for attention
BY Remi Adekoya