Question of the week. What can you believe in the ratings of artists?
ARTinvestment.RU   16 апреля 2018

The application of mathematics, statistics, and formulas in matters of trade, art requires not only special delicacy, but also a developed sense of humor

Rank artists, various "top-5–10–100" with each passing day it becomes more and more. It is mass media genre. Other ratings are more serious, others just too ridiculous. But in fact any "top what-то" find its reader. In the era of information "snacking on the run", the consumers choose something, zaum, where the findings served immediately on a silver platter. So to open the website — and immediately understood: the artist A. much better than artists B. V., and especially better than the artist.

Is a bet on whether objectivity? Not always. Criteria lists are often so vague that reaches the point of absurdity. Already happened and that got to the top one of ratings well-known artist, appeared strongly dissatisfied their presence there.

it is one thing if the rating is read only for entertainment and participation in the debate and more — if a@list ndashто perceive as an imperative for making investment purchases. But this goal by the drafters implicitly always pursued. If you think about it, the task of any rating — "sell" the name. The meaning of it is to convince top — is the best, and the bottom — worse. Is embedded the idea that at the top are only the best and most reliable goods-бренды-имена, investing in that, if not rich, definitely not burned.

Ah, if only! In fact, in the details of separate ratings is not one devil, but simply a thousand devils.

And how can that be? How not to fall for "divorce"?

Imagine that you (a novice collector, potential purchaser, investor) see before you a ranking of artists. On that first note? And as to his General attitude?

1. to Understand and forgive. Entirely objective rankings does not happen: neither a mathematical formula nor the completeness or quality of the source data. Compilers (and our AI is no exception) is always forced to go to terrible compromises. Note that sales data for galleries and dealers to anyone is not known for certain, but themselves. The only data that today more-менее you can rely on (and even then not completely), — is open statistics of auction sales. But this is an important limitation: there is no single database of auction results, in which the write about selling fakes is securely separated from the records on the sale of original works. So, in the calculations of prices of original works will be considered mixed in with bargain prices fakes. Yes, in my database we are trying to separate: put indicators of investment risk, we remove from the calculation the data about sale of works with red and yellow indicators. But even here the indicators have not 100 % of the work in the database. In the result there is a risk of serious distortions, when in a heap in the mix, such as real Zvereva for $4 000-10 000, and "seleuchi", sold for $300. Conclusion: the competent reader of any rating need to make allowances for the quality of the source data, to assess the severity of confounding factors, it is possible to crosscheck the results and to keep common sense.

2. Note that the normal compiler of the rating is not hidden, it suggests the shadow of the fence. Except that quite a bit. First look at whether the drafters of the "top" of the clear ranking criteria.Formula and full technique from them do not wait: usually no one publishes — is normal. But the General approach to hide is not accepted. If you understand that in the prelude to the rating instead of clear explanations and criteria compilers let loose the fog, — means you are not even "reading", and most likely complete fiction.

3. Decide for yourself how much you trust the original data, which are based on the compilers. A subjective question. But I can tell you how we ARTinvestment.RU. decide it for yourself. Any surveys of market participants about the volume of sales in money and things we have for many years treated as stories of the fishermen. At face value don't accept. No, we do not claim that everything is a fiction. Just understand that people have different trading strategies. Some people prefer to talk about the phenomenal success of their authors: the sale of the "rod" buyers are in the queue, and the prices are "so high". Others, on the contrary, tend to understate or even conceal the figures are wary of publicity: they say that money loves silence, it is not necessary to attract attention, to tease the geese and everything. Accordingly, most of the ratings, is built on surveys, the risk of becoming meaningless from-за of the inherent distortion. On large samples in sociology, this approach works, but in the field of art-рынка no. About the same trust issues arise if the rating is based on the results of the Internet-голосований. What can he say? Only that one artist got more likes, and the other less. A thousand different reasons. The demand for these writers in the market such ratings will not say anything at all.

4. to Evaluate the set of artists in the ranking, in terms of their own common sense. As soon as you sunk to the analysis of the rating of artists, it is likely that in art you are not exactly new. Then, if 20 names of you four is not heard at all, but about two I heard that-то vaguely, it should already be alerted. And most likely, the feeling is not deceiving you and target compilers are far away from the stated topic. However, there is one important exception.

5. Exception — curatorial ratings. It's a genre or format in which authoritative versed in the art of man, a specialist with name is your "intuitive" list of artists. In this case, he can afford not to sort out, not "chew", not to report all their criteria. The resulting curators lists can be thought of as the "maturating", position, advice, expert opinion, which is formed by the neural network of a person, for many years located deep in the subject. I understand that for the outsider it all sounds a bit unscientific. Nevertheless I myself personally relate to the author's curatorial ratings with interest, respect and increased attention. For example, watch how it makes Kirill Alekseev , then, etc. Or to recall another recent rating, one of the authors of which were made by the curator Mikhail Sidlin. It becomes much less vulnerable to criticism if we consider it as curatorial. Yes what far to go: we in AI are also found more ratings. A typical example — "how to start a newthe collector? Idea first — sixties". If you perceive them not as "math", but as the list of prospective artists based on the intuition of the compiler, it is quite good. Otherwise I would not have done.

We assume that the sources understood.

And what is useful about the market of an artist can be extracted from the ratings? Perhaps, in the first place, collectors should pay attention to the following facts:

1. whether the artist from the ranking of auction sales, in principle. Here's a funny, and some compilers sometimes do not mind to include in the market rankings of authors generally no auction history. If the sale of the-таки there (is a big plus), pay attention to the auction. When artist sell and sell major brands auction business — is a story, and if only local Russian or foreign trading platform — something a little different.

2. the Presence of the artist in the list top-100 or the top of their directions. For example, his participation in top-100 unofficial art, if we are talking about the sixties, or in top-100 of modern art for aktualschikov. This is the most effective rating — dust in the eyes, tails disbanded. It would seem that you auction records, and that's it. Alas. He is far from exhaustive and not comprehensive. Important it may indicate only that the artist is in the auction cage and it when-то was outstanding sale. That's about it. How these sales were systemic in nature and what are the prices now — that a rating will not show. Take the first name — the most expensive living artist and the most expensive of the sixties Ilya Kabakov. In the first place —, his painting, "beetle," sold for almost $5 840 000. Almost six million. Is it possible from this to conclude that "at least" three-четыре million dollars for his works have now become commonplace? No, this is just the illusion, which generate ratings. In fact, for the entire auction history, except "Beetle", only five works of Kabakov has overcome the million mark. And the last time was five years ago. Now a more realistic range for the auction of large-format painting comparable class $500 000-700 000. Ten times less. But this is impossible to know. Only database records auction results.

3. the Turnover of money and things, especially over the past 3 years or 1 year. It is also free and you can see in the rankings. Sales volume in dollars will not give important details. But it is possible to judge the size of the market for works by a particular author. And about money, and about sales. If one for the year50-100 exhibited works and a large portion sold and the other one-две pieces, then make your own conclusions.

4. Liquidity. In the current market environment is perhaps the most important indicator. It shows the speed (ease) with which the work finds a buyer within a reasonable time at a reasonable price. the ratings of liquidity, composed according to original techniques. But you can roughly to estimate and so — for current ratings. For example, if the year on the auctions is exposed 30-50-70 of work and more than half is sold, then it is good. With this artist in the collection will be calmer. At least this means that not only you are ready to buy it, you have a pool of collectors and for a reasonable price on your work quickly found buyers.

Complicated? Then let's look at an example. What can you tell us the publicly available ratings on the market works by the artist-шестидесятника Vladimir Nemukhin? Try this:

1. Open top of the unofficial art. The name of this there. That's good. The highest price since 2000 — $240 000 for the painting "Unfinished solitaire". You can hover the name of the cursor and see some pictures. But the details (time and place of sale) only by paid subscription. Take note that the artist of the first row, is the auction holder, but other findings so far do not hurry. Especially avoid to try on the record to current price levels. He and the record.

2. Open the link to podracing "the Turnover for 12 months". Wow! Of the 81 exhibited works by Nemukhin sold as many as 53. A very good indicator. Offer a lot and sell often. That is, the market is active and demand good. Then out of curiosity...

3. the tab "the Most expensive sale in the last 12 months" and find $61 000 for the "Card table". You can guess that this is the most popular topic and valuable period. So.

4. Looking suddenly Nemukhin is in the conditional "curatorial" rating. Do is. Again take note, agree or not — it's up.

in short, exactly what I would have done if I had not had subscription database of auction results. Well, with a subscription market condition of work of any artist is determined much more precisely, in the ratings you don't even have to look. Nasmotrenny people according to the statistics of lots sold quickly deal with the price of concrete work, with liquidity and valuable periods. Like what — written here. But it is quite another story.

Time to finish. Turn to the conclusions.

so, how I feel about ratings, foreign and ours? Yes, normally include with a healthy curiosity. In which-то moments they can be trusted. And in the Russian art market now, except the obituary, any publication — is advertising.

But it must be aware that the ratings of artists in the massmy — is more of an entertainment genre. It serves to grow traffic and attract attention. It's about how many "10 movies you won't be able to sleep" or "the 10 rules that will change your life". View them can be fun sometimes, but I do not take them as the guide to action! Ratings of artists, not based on solid criteria, should be treated the same way. Nothing much wrong with them no, what-то thoughts come across, and any new information is useful. Especially someone with critical thinking.

But the rush to buy art without knowing at whom-то published the list of names — stupid. Think about it, what will you do when the time comes to sell previously purchased? Will tell the buyer or the auction about what-то dense? I do not advise. Experienced people will grin and will not listen, or decide that they absolutely dilettante "and do with it what you want".

What else to read on:
Ratings AI;;;;;
AI: How to assess the situation.

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