Thomaï Serdari, a strategist in luxury marketing and branding and an adjunct professor at New York University’s Stern School of Business, said the trend toward art collections in luxury developments was driven by millennials’ insatiable appetite for experiences.
“Most young people who are interested in buying these new developments are also very much interested in experiences, and the art world is one of those experiences,” she said, including people who are not yet collectors, “but people who want to be in the know.”
But she suggested that luxury developers’ investments in art collections can be distractions from the poor design and quality of individual apartment units, which she said she is seeing more frequently as developers focus further on the common spaces of buildings. But Dan Choi, an architect, developer, and adjunct professor at Columbia’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, said art collections rarely come at the expense of high-quality design elements, simply because the field is too competitive and the customers too discerning.
Still, Serdari wondered if the art trend could one day pass, as the newly wealthy find alternative modes of conspicuous consumption and the real estate market rushed to cater to whatever comes next.
“I think it is a trend of the moment,” Serdari said. “They borrow cultural capital until the next new cultural capital is in. Maybe it’s going to the moon. Then, they will stop investing in art and go to the moon.”