Hop on over to The Art Newspaper to read The problem with a collector-driven market by Jane Kallir. The title says it all. The author, who doesn't distinguish between contemporary and historical art, is concerned that today's high-rolling collectors don't know exactly what they're doing. More to the point, they aren't being properly trained and advised as in the past. The art market is being purely driven by money and there's a steep drop-off between the artists at the top and those at the middle and bottom.
This expansion of the art market, made possible
by the broader dissemination of concentrated pockets of wealth and by
the globalisation of art and related information, has drawn in players
who do not have the focused commitment of the traditional collector.
The exponential growth of the market, and the genuine gains realised by
those who got in early, inevitably fuel the tendency, justifiable or
not, to view art as an asset class comparable to stocks or real estate.