Imagine a pension plan for artists where the artist invests works of art for several years, for a guaranteed pension in the future. Sounds pretty out-there, doesn't it?
But that's exactly what the Artist Pension Trust is doing, as described in Wired, Paint by Numbers.
The whiz person who created this idea, Moti Shniberg, sees future opportunities in other areas of intellectual property, for people like filmakers.
The project relies on some research conducted at NYU by business school profs Michael Moses and Jianping Mei into the long term investment value of art. They tracked art that had sold more than once at the major NY auction houses. Guess what -- the art outperformed the financial markets over the period from 1953 to 1998. And you don't have to buy masterpieces. In fact, you are better off with gallery quality art that has not attained star status, and is therefore reasonably priced.
To select the artists to invite into the plan -- and you do have to be invited -- the investment pros turned to David Ross, a former director of major galleries the Whitney and SF MOMA.
It's all about finding the X factor. X doesn't equal talent. Loads of artists have that. X equals promise. X equals the potential to hit it big
Not everyone is a fan of the speculative elements of this approach, particularly the possibility that the investment fund will attempt to influence the value of the art in their collection. However, it's a popular idea: the article reports that a number of other art investment funds are going to launch this year.
Additional stories and links:
Vested Interests, Price Estimates, and the Future Performance of Artwork , another paper by the same professors
Give Em Shelter, Forbes article on the topic
Art & Money, Perfect Together, in Registered Rep