Art of the Steal

Buying art for investment is something almost always derided publicly and practiced privately. Sergey Skaterschikov, head of Skate’s Art Market Research and of Moscow collecting group the Insiders Club, has picked a handful of paintings in upcoming auctions that he argues are good financial investments. The decisions, he said, are based on the artist’s proven liquidity; the price estimate versus the painter’s historic performance at auction; and the specifics of the artwork.

Among his picks in the Christie’s Nov. 3 sale of Impressionist and Modern art are Claude Monet’s Maison de pêcheur au Petit Ailly, “a visually striking landscape with impeccable provenance” and Pablo Picasso’s Maternité, a portrait of the artist’s Russian wife, Olga, that is on the auction block for the first time.  

Of course, a bargain is in the eye of the beholder, since bids on all the recommended pieces start at $2 million or above