What this graphic tells us:
The figurative art market has experienced a boom in the last decade. In the early 2000s, annual auction sales within our dataset fell consistently below the $10 million-dollar mark. Since 2006 they haven’t fallen below it. There has been some fluctuation in values, especially around the time of the 2008 recession. Indeed, in 2009, mid-market sales (those between $100,000 and $1 million) took a major hit, though they’ve been essentially consistent since then. Interestingly, aside from that year, the fluctuation in the market comes from big-ticket figurative paintings—those selling for prices in excess of $1 million. While total sales last year show a decrease from 2014, in step with a 7% decline in the market at large, they’re still above that of that of 2013.