The Salon Talk – Christie’s Art Master Shares Full Picture on Market

Dirk Boll, EMEA Deputy Chairman 20th & 21st Century Art at Christie’s was the first speaker of The Salon breakfast programme of the new Autumn season last week at The Relais Henley hotel.

He opened his insightful talk with review of the 2022 global world market highlighting that corporate turnovers and auction results were a record level and included a new world record for a 20th century artwork for Andy Warhol’s Sage Blue Shot Marilyn which sold for a a jaw-dropping US$195m!  2023 however is seeing turnover down due to the ‘Bottle Neck of Taste’ (people narrowing their taste in art), less art fairs, numbers of people visiting museums (remain 60% of pre-Covid numbers), less presentation space for artists and digitalisation taking over from personal connections.

Dirk highlighted the huge growth in female and black female artists in the global auction sales but they still represented a tiny percentage of auction sales (0.1%).

The future of art created by AI was the next hot topic of Dirk’s talk.  He said, “Generative AI is really interesting, I don’t share the view that it is frightening.  It has been part of the industry for quite a while.  The first AI artwork (portrait of Edmond De Belamy) was sold at auction in 2018 for US$430K.”  Dirk went on to talk about who owns the copyrights to AI images and how will people protect their images.

The floor was then open to questions, with audience members asking about use of celebrity images, the NFT (non-fungible token) art market, the impact of AI on exhibitions, family art collections and their disposal and what are Dirk’s favourite art museums in London – Sir John Soane and the V&A.

The Salon have secured a breakfast programme full of high profile and interesting speakers for this season.  In October they will be welcoming renowned journalist and author Alan Philps on Wednesday 4 October who will be sharing his incredible experiences as a journalist in Russia since he was posted there as a Reuters trainee in 1979.  On Thursday 19 October AI expert Louisa Livingston will be exploring how generative AI can transform your business and your life if you let it. Having worked with some of the world’s most prestigious luxury and entertainment brands, Louisa will be sharing, and explaining, how AI, ChatGPT and other AI developments will be a major game changer for businesses by driving growth and how it is inevitably going to impact our day to day lives.

If you would like to book one of the upcoming above events, please email


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