Uncover the fair market value of your favorite pieces by KAWS, Wood, and Grotjahn

Although each of these artists are now considered 'blue chip' investments, their path to the top of the market and their current positions are very different. KAWS has gone from a fascinating curiosity to an evening sale fixture over the course of three sale seasons (and some very sharp marketing) and no apparent end in sight. Jonas Wood has been quietly gaining steam, gaining accolades and solidifying a strong collector base, first breaking the $1,000,000 auction mark in 2017. Mark Grotjahn prices also rose to dizzying heights in the mid-2010's and the question now is how to maintain that desire and demand.

Whatever happens, it should be an interesting week.

How does ARTBnk determine fair market value?

This report uses ARTBnk and ARTBnk RTV, an Artificial Intelligence (AI) driven automated valuation model (AVM). The ARTBnk RTV algorithm, built on a cleaned and normalized proprietary database and trained with the distilled judgement of ARTBnk’s team of art market experts, applies micro and macro economic factors, and art market specific information to calculate the current fair market value of works of art.

ARTBnk RTV is an indication of value; our standard is to be accurate within +/- 10% of fair market value, which always includes the buyer’s premium. Realized prices at auction will vary, and market trends are reflected as they occur. There are many reasons to pay more than RTV, and many reasons why a particular work will underperform. RTV is a guidance tool to be used while making personal decisions.

Whether you’re a collector, dealer, journalist, or auction house; investor, appreciator or aficionado, this report is for you. If you have any questions concerning this or future reports please email us at info@artbnk.com.







ARTBNK Featured Analysis

Acrylic on canvas
2009, 72 x 96 in, signed

ARTBnk RTV: $740,533
Estimate: $600,000 - $800,000

Value expectations in a rapidly rising market

KAWS is the hottest artist of the moment. The stratospheric price of $14,784,505 paid for The KAWS Album in April of this year was astounding, making KAWS one of the most expensive living artists. His meteoric rise began in 2018, with each subsequent sale resulting in ever higher prices.

Will Kurfs (Tangle) continue the ascent? It’s likely that this piece will be highly desirable. There are very few Kurf paintings, and the majority are already in celebrity collections unlikely to come on the market. This is clearly is an opportunity to acquire a rare work with highly desirable subject matter and composition.

ARTBnk RTV places this sale within the estimate, but given recent escalation, all KAWS bets are off. Many are expecting a stratospheric result for this work. Post auction, we’ll recalibrate the Market once again for this “New Blue Chip” artist.



(Click graph to enlarge)

KAWS (b. 1974): WORKS AT AUCTION Note: ARTBnk RTV values calculated on 5/09/2019 and include the buyer's premium


ARTBNK Featured Analysis

Japanese Garden 3
Oil & acrylic on canvas
2019, 88 x 98 in, signed

ARTBnk RTV: $688,403
Estimate: $500,000 - $700,000

Do Career Milestones = Market Value?

Jonas Wood’s market has had a steady rise over the past few years with significant works selling for as high as seven figures. There have also been a number of notable career events including representation by Gagosian and his first major solo museum exhibition at the Dallas Museum of Art.

Japanese Garden 3 is a striking work demonstrating Wood’s mastery of pattern and color, it’s quite similar to a larger painting which sold at Sotheby’s in 2016 for $396,500 (Green Pattern). With both the auction estimate and the ARTBnk RTV reflecting a rising market, the question is whether Wood has reached a plateau or if his recent career achievements translate into continued rising prices.



(Click graph to enlarge)

JONAS WOOD (b.1977): WORKS AT AUCTION Note: ARTBnk RTV values calculated on 5/09/2019 and include the buyer's premium


ARTBNK Featured Analysis

Colored pencil on paper
2018, 88 x 98 in, signed

ARTBnk RTV: $1,148,304
Estimate: $600,000 - $800,000

Grotjahn's return to form?

For an artist whose auction results set new records with each season, Grotjahn's 2018 felt like a market correction. The buy-in of a marquee piece at Christie's London in October and lower prices in general, marked an off pace year from 2017. For Grotjahn, an artist notoriously in touch with his market, the current offering of this vibrant butterfly work in support of the Hammer Museum is a wise choice. The work is strikingly similar to one sold at Phillips in 2016 (Untitled -Crimson Red and Canary Yellow Butterfly 45.93). Offered with the same estimate, it ultimately sold for $1,450,000 and is the third highest auction result for a colored pencil work.

While ARTBnk's algorithm doesn't place the value quite at that 2016 result, it does indicate that while no longer meteoric, the Grotjahn market is steady.



(Click graph to enlarge)

MARK GROTJAHN (b. 1968): WORKS AT AUCTION Note: ARTBnk RTV values calculated on 5/09/2019 and include the buyer's premium


Final Thoughts

Rapidly changing markets are the hardest to understand. The top auction value for KAWS in 2017 was $488,000. In 2018 the top value was $5,620,000, with eight works exceeding $1 million. In some cases estimates were outpaced by as much as 1,000%.

This is not a predictable market regardless of any algorithm. What ARTBnk can do is accurately provide an RTV at the time of sale that gives collectors an understanding of how past results have affected current value. If the auction is a surprise in either direction, ARTBnk's constant monitoring will automatically update the realized values.



Stay informed on KAWS, Wood, Grotjahn, and hundreds of other artists with ARTBnk.