When a big name collector “offloads” the art of a specific artist from his collection, it can, we have heard, have a chilling effect on the market for that artist’s work. Sometimes this makes the artist very angry. Sometimes things escalate.
All the same, Charles Saatchi feels that a collector should do as they will with the artwork they buy.
Asked about a long-standing rumor that he had “ruined” the career of Sandro Chia when he purged his collection all of his Chias at once, Saatchi said:
“At last count I read that I had flooded the market with 23 of his paintings. In fact, I only ever owned seven paintings by Chia. One morning I offered three of them back to Angela Water, his New York dealer, where I had originally bought them, and four back to Bruno Bischofberger, his European dealer, where, again I had bought those. Chia’s work was tremendously desirable at the time a all seven went to big-shot collectors or museums by close of day.”