“Obviously it’s a learning curve here,” Rastorfer said. “People take that very seriously and that’s something you can’t do in five minutes.” He said potential buyers want to learn “more about the artist, maybe the price structure, how peers see it, how museum curators see it,” and the gallery obliges with information, although buyers will often research independently too.
Gmurzynska sold a
(2015) in bronze with black patina, number two in an edition of six, for around $800,000, as well as ’s Femme aux 3 cheveux, constellation
(1976) for around $300,000.
Mathieu Borysevicz, founder of the Shanghai gallery Bank and the cultural consultancy Mabsociety, said he has seen his clientele evolve into a younger, more open-minded crowd, often with their parents’ money burning holes in their pockets.
“Before it was just 50, 60, 70-year-old people with a very particular, more conservative bent,” Borysevicz said. Now, he has clients as young as 23.
“They’re not spending their own money, I gather, but it’s become quite popular for the wealthy young kids to get into art buying, and it’s also the lifestyle that comes with it,” he said. Bank was appearing in the Insights section of the fair, which displayed curated projects from galleries based in the Asia-Pacific region. The solo booth featured wood engraving prints from the “Shattered Jade” series by the established Chinese contemporary artist
, as well as sketches, photographs, and other artifacts from the making of the series. Most of the colored prints had sold, priced at $8,250, including several editions of Mountain City
(1982), to collectors in China, Italy, Taiwan, and elsewhere. Borysevicz said it would be a profitable fair for the gallery “if everyone ends up paying,” a reference to the notorious problem of nonpayment, especially by Chinese buyers.