Welcome to the first ever art market report generated by artificial intelligence (AI)
This report uses ARTBnk and ARTBnk RTV (Real Time Valuation), 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.
We believe the art market is driven by passionate individuals who make decisions based on both emotion and data. 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.
ARTBnk RTV provides a baseline, delivering instant, objective, and accurate data-driven results. Combining AI, Machine Learning, and Image Recognition with its curated, cleaned, normalized and transformed data, ARTBnk removes subjectivity. In the case of Andy Warhol, more than 1,000 past auction sales were used to generate this report. If you have any questions concerning this or future reports please email us at email@example.com.
Editors note: This report was originally published on May 7th, 2019 and has been updated to include post auction results and analysis.
Who is this for?
Whether you’re a collector, dealer, journalist, or auction house; investor, appreciator or aficionado, this report is for you. Since it contains both current fair market valuations and in-depth analyses, it’s especially important for anyone following the Warhol or Postwar and Contemporary art markets.
LOTS BY AUCTION HOUSE
VALUE IN US DOLLARS (MM)
ARTBNK REAL TIME VALUATION (RTV) TREND
(Click graph to enlarge)
ARTBNK Featured AnalysisDouble Elvis [Ferus Type]
ARTBnk RTV: $43,307,684
Estimate: $50,000,000 - $70,000,000
Silkscreen ink and silver paint on linen
1963, 81 7/8 x 52 ¾ in, signed
Do guarantees inflate prices?
A guaranteed auction lot presents a conundrum — a supposed unknown event already has a known outcome. Since the guarantee is typically the low estimate, this work will sell in the range of $50,000,000 regardless of interest on the day of sale.
Two other Warhol Elvis works have sold in the recent past and both also had guarantees to support them. A similar Double Elvis sold just above its reported $30,000,000 guarantee in 2018. In 2014, which many regard as the height of the Warhol market, a Triple Elvis sold well above its putative $50,000,000 guarantee at $81,000,000.
ARTBnk looks not only at similar works, but at sale trends of the entire body of work for an artist. In this case the data does not support a guaranteed value of $50,000,000, but a handful of bid increments less.
ARTBNK Featured Analysis
ARTBnk RTV: $2,974,030
Estimate: $1,500,000 - $2,000,000
Acrylic & silkscreen ink on canvas
1964, 24 x 24 in, signed
Previous Sale: Sotheby’s 06/30/2014 | Price Realized: $3,003,476
Are estimates a true measure of current value?
Flowers is an interesting example of how an estimate can differ from ARTBnk RTV. The RTV indicates no significant change from the previous sale in 2014. Sotheby’s estimate would indicate that the value has decreased by more than 30%.
As we look more deeply into the market our data shows excessively low estimates will depress realized prices, while a very high estimate greatly increases the risks and rewards. The risk is that the work will not sell. But if it does sell, the seller is rewarded with a very high return. Assigning an accurate estimate provides both a likely sale and a fair price.
We feel that Sotheby’s has assured a sale for Flowers, but wonder whether the price realized will be below fair market value?
ARTBNK Featured Analysis
Colored Cambell's Soup Can
ARTBnk RTV: $5,033,941
Estimate: $3,500,000 - $4,500,000
Acrylic & silkscreen ink on canvas
1965, 36 by 24 in
What is the value of color?
Colored Campbell’s Soup Can is a unique example of Warhol’s iconic soup can subject matter. Unlike Warhol’s original series of soup cans produced between 1961-62 in red, white and gold, which typically have RTV’s of $6 - $8 million, this work is radiant burnt orange, cool violet and a deep amber. These colors and the date of creation made this a special case in the ARTBnk database. The ARTBnk RTV algorithms detect qualitative differences and separate this work from the higher value works from 1961-62 ($7-8 million).
Andy Warhol Unique Works at Auction
(Note: ARTBnk RTV values calculated on 5/04/2019 and include the buyer's premium)
Post Auction Analysis
While still a driving force in the market Warhol sales have softened when compared to auction estimates and results. With so much excitement (and bidding) on new and emerging artists there is a definite market shift taking place. As you'll see, we've broken up the Warhol offerings based on collecting area.
The top three lots for Warhol in the New York sales this week, performed to expectation, but with no fanfare. All three lots were supported by guarantees, which also account for at least a few of the bids executed in each lot.
Double Elvis [Ferus Type]---opening at $38 million with only 5 subsequent bids ending at $48 million, ending below its low estimate of $50 million.
Liz [Early Colored Liz]---opening at $12 million this lot saw the most activity with 10 executed bids. It is worth noting that from $1 million bids early on, the final for bids were split to $200,000 increments before hammering.
Little Electric Chair---opened low at $4 million against its $6-8 million estimate, but ultimately hammered within estimate at $7 million.
Conclusion: Each of these lots are hallmark pieces with sterling pedigree and still needed quite a bit of support to achieve a minimally acceptable result. Even with support the bidding was lackluster. ARTBnk RTV in this case was in line with market expectations. Although still a strong brand, the expectations of the Warhol market is in need of some adjustment.
One of the harder areas of the Warhol market to predict and often the hardest to sell. One has overachieved, one has underachieved and one has yet to sell.
Conclusion: These don't move the market one way or another.
A popular mainstay for Warhol collectors, the sitter making all the difference. Phillips’ offering of a Lichtenstein and a Hockney says it all. The Hockney offered at $400-600,000 achieved $1,040,000 (with BP) and the Lichtenstein offered at $300-400,000 achieving a mere $475,000 (with BP). With the exception of the Hockney and the Russel Means, all selling around the low range of the estimate.
Conclusion: Look for lowered expectations for all but the most desirable portraits.
Flowers, Soup Cans, Dollar Signs and Coke Bottles all sold just at or below low estimate for the most part. A market adjustment should be anticipated next season.
Conclusion: The clear winner in this category was Yusaku Maezawa, the seller of Flowers. He paid $2,998,894 for the piece in June of 2014, it sold in the Sotheby's evening sale for $5,674,250. The previous high price paid at auction for a similar Flowers (blue) was in the May of 2018 sale for $3,615,000. The loser in this category, lot 41 in Sotheby's Evening sale, Colored Campbell's Soup Can passing at $3,500,000. Apparently color in this case was a determining factor as soup cans of this size would normally sell in this estimate range.
This area of Warhol's market suffered the most in this week's sales, with all but 1 buying in. Piss offered at Phillips on Wednesday squeaked by the low estimate hammering for $520,000.
Conclusion: Only the most recognizable subjects and mediums can command top prices.