New York, 14 February 2013, Art Media Agency (AMA).
Steven A. Cohen, one of the greatest art collectors worldwide is in turmoil. And the American billionaire problems concern all professionals of the art market.
Since November 2012, the businessman, who is Head of the investment fund SAC Capital, is implicated in a case of insider trading. And if the art market cares about it, it is that since he began investing in art, Steven A. Cohen has been one of the most active collectors. Since 2002 he is mentioned in the “Top 10” of most spending art collectors established by Artnews magazine. The American is also well ranked by Forbes. To this day, Cohen has spent over $700m in artworks. In 2003, The New York Times reported that for five years, Cohen spent 20% of his income at art auctions. If his troubles with the law continue, the man whose fortune is estimated $9.5 billion could sell his collection and get out of the market.
His collection includes works by Van Gogh, Manet, de Kooning, Picasso, Cézanne, Warhol, johns and Richter. His purchases have often boosted the prices of artists such as Damien Hirst, for instance when he bought Shark-in-formaldehyde for $8m. He also spent nearly $16m on Screaming Pope by Bacon.
In December, during Art Basel Miami, the collector was already absent and as New York gallery owner David Zwirner told The New York Times: “We hate his not being active on the market (…) This man is a friend of mine. I called him last week (…) I think he’s outgrown the art world. I support him and wish he was here right now”.