Karolina Blasiak

“The art market is booming”

Having worked in Paris and New York, Karolina Blasiak developed the art desk at Rosemont International and has now launched her own art consultancy in the Principality, Karolina Blasiak Art Advisory. She updates us on the latest trends.

I Avec plus de 10 ans d’expérience, Karolina Blasiak aide à construire et à organiser des collections d’art uniques.

What is the piece of advice you would give to someone wishing to invest in art?
Karolina Blasiak – I work with a global network of museums, foundations, collectors, legal and financial experts, and it has become commonplace to incorporate art into clients’ estates to diversify their portfolio. Bringing art into our daily lives also changes our lives. However, you have to consider many factors before making a purchase because there are risks involved – for example, works may not have undergone the necessary checks, or may have questionable provenances. I would say first of all that it is essential to verify the accuracy of the information relating to a work. You need to know your clients on both sides, buyer and seller. I really enjoy working in Monaco because of lot of work has already been done in terms of transparency in the art market, given that the Principality hosts numerous auctions of paintings, jewellery, cars, etc. Artcurial laid the foundations and now Sotheby’s has opened an office in the Principality.

Fiona Tan, Creation for a new beginning

How has Covid-19 impacted the market?
Antiques and Old Masters sales have been put on stand-by. Conversely, following the crisis we have seen an unusually large number of sales of highly desirable works and an increase in clients able to purchase them. So the market is booming. Sales like those of the Macklowe collection are breaking records, with more Asian buyers, young investors and new collectors taking part. Many Monegasque clients attend these sales in New York, London and Paris, which dictate the global market. While it was not possible to go to art fairs such as Frieze or Art Basel during the pandemic, numerous fairs, such as artmonte-carlo, developed viewing rooms. The market has become more accessible online.

Damion Berger, Gathering, Ligurian Sea, 2018

What can you tell us about the relationship between aesthetic quality and market value?
Traditional value creation happens over many lifetimes: an artist has to be validated by other artists, curators, collectors and museums, and this is how certain works become blue chip over time. However, it’s somewhat perplexing nowadays to see some auction houses imitating the collectibles market by offering evening sales of trainers, dinosaur bones, NFTs and artists you’ve never heard of. I find it hard to explain how someone can pay $3 million for a 30-year-old artist who is not in a museum collection. If the only qualifier of your success is based on what someone is willing to pay, then the art is separated from any aesthetic and critical value. Now, to build a collection, you need to plan for the long term.

Damion Berger, Sting (solarised), Monaco, 2008

Can you talk a little about the position of female artists and/or artists of African origin in this context?
It’s a highly visible phenomenon in auction houses and elsewhere. The 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair has become a must-attend event, and it is now expanding into Paris. In Monaco, Hauser & Wirth gallery dedicated its inaugural exhibition to Louise Bourgeois. For the first time in its 127-year history, the Venice Biennale, the oldest and most important contemporary art fair in the world, is presenting more work by female and non-binary artists. Many artists’ records have also been set by female artists, and they are also winning a lot of awards. Historically they only represented 10% of artists in major exhibitions, but that figure has now risen to 30%. Things are finally changing