‘The Artwork Would Almost Have to Double In Price’: Is Fractional Art Investing the Future of the Market, or a Scam?

Who wants to buy a piece of a Picasso?

Jean-Michel Basquiat's All Colored Cast (Part III) (1982) owned by Masterworks.

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So you want to buy a Picasso?

No, it’s too expensive. 

Okay, fine, that’s fair. Want to buy a teensy, weensy, tiny little microscopic fleck of a Picasso?

That sounds better, doesn’t it? Believe it or not, that kind of sales pitch is actually gaining traction in a big way in the wild world of fractional art sales, where massive new startup companies are buying up the bluest of blue-chip art—think Basquiat, Joan Mitchell, and Ed Ruscha—and selling what are essentially shares in these pieces to speculative investors. With an influx of companies like Masterworks, Yieldstreet, and Particle, it’s rapidly becoming a big business.

But what do you actually get if you buy a share in a painting, how does it work, and what is it really worth? This week, senior reporter and resident Art Detective Katya Kazakina joins Andrew Goldstein to discuss her new deep-dive into the world of fractional art ownership, published in the most recent issue of Artnet News Pro’s Intelligence Report. 


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