Arsham’s collector base transcends that of the traditional art market in part because he engages a young audience through social media and his understanding of the “drop culture” that is prevalent in luxury fashion. Arsham piques interest on social media by “unboxing” his work on Instagram and then announcing its release time, often prompting a flurry of visits to his website. In 2018, he dropped his first edition of Hollow Figure (2018) on his website for $950 and it sold out within three minutes. Last year, editions of Hollow Figure repeatedly fetched upwards of $2,000 at auction.
In spite of his international reputation and engaged collector base, Chan believes the prices for Arsham’s works don’t yet reflect their true value. The world record for an Arsham work sold at auction, set at a Phillips sale in Hong Kong in November 2019, stands at HK$2.3 million (US$295,470). “For an internationally recognized artist with exhibitions in museums like Guimet, who has sold out shows in Japan, in New York, and Paris; for someone who’s making intelligent art…I definitely think that it’s still on the undervalued side,” she said. “I think that the market will continue to be very interested.”
The Perrotin spokesperson, meanwhile, predicted that as the boundary-bending artist continues to evolve both his own individual practice and the scope of his collaborative projects, he will further challenge the understanding of what it means to be a contemporary artist. As the spokesperson put it: “We foresee a future where Arsham continues to expand not only his own market, but the mold of a market within the fine art sector.”