Art is regarded by the very wealthy as a safe haven with consistent returns during geopolitical instability. This coincided with many high-value artworks by established artists becoming available at auction.
The art market is booming again, bigger than ever.
That was the message given to the world's media after last month's fortnight of marquee auctions at Christie's, Sotheby's and Phillips in New York.
A final tranche of 20th- and 21st-century works from the "peerless collection" formed by New York divorcees Harry and Linda Macklowe topped up the total to $922m, making this single-owner offering the "most valuable ever sold at auction," according to Sotheby's. Phillips's mixed-owner evening sale of modern and contemporary art racked up $225m, a record for the company. The previous week, Christie's had sold Andy Warhol's 1964 Shot Sage Blue Marilyn to Larry Gagosian for $195m, the highest auction price ever achieved for a 20th-century work.
During a recession wealthy art owners tend to hold on to their collections. This temporary reduction usually ensures prices remain stable, making art a safe alternative investment option for those looking to diversify their portfolio during these uncertain times.