Stefan Simchowitz, the most hated man in the business


Great article about Stefan Simchowitz, the contemporary art market, flipping, art market economics, zombie formalism, the art market crash, and how volatility in the art market is a healthy thing.

Read the full article here:

If Simchowitz’s nose for success is impressive, so is the hatred he inspires. He has been likened to Michael Milken, an inventor of junk bonds and convicted fraudster; he has been called a Sith Lord and Satan. The complaint is that he is a short-termist, prioritising quick profits over sustainable sales. He is accused of buying too greedily: cornering the market early by snapping up much of a young artist’s catalogue (he bought lots of work by Murillo early and cheap) before flipping the work to collectors who are themselves seeking profit rather than good art.


Here is the podcast about the article. The main question gets down to is he opening up the art market or destroying it by bringing in too much volatility - the answer they give is a little bit of both. He certainly brings in more new customers and includes alternative artists which may be underrepresented in the art market. On the other hand, he and people like him aka fast traders or flippers are removing trust from the market, when the galleries and aritsts lose control over their works, in terms of whether it is going to end up in a privat collection for a long time, or being flipped.