Loughrey has always been attracted to mid-century art because it reflects a time when America became the world's greatest power. "There is a kind of intense optimism about post World War II American art," he said. "And a lot of those artists were working here in Southern California."
His advice to a new generation of art entrepreneurs, however, is to become an expert in an era that is currently undervalued. "Look at the 1970s and 1980s, because no one is looking at that work very critically yet, and there are incredible opportunities."
When we met earlier this year at their warehouse, the Loughreys were preparing for an auction that would include several pieces ranging from $1,500 to $250,000. There was a Warhol, a David Hockney print that the artist created on an iPad, and we sat during our interview on Sam Maloof bar stools once owned by Gene Kelly.
But Loughrey wistfully recalled one piece he should have kept. "There's a chaise lounge designed by Marc Newson, an Australian designer," he said. Newson made 10 of the lounges in the '80s, and Loughrey bought one for $110,000 hoping to make a relatively quick profit.
No one was interested.
A few years later, Loughrey sold the chaise lounge for $121,000, earning a 10 percent return. "Today they are selling for $2.5 million, $3 million, so I kind of regret not holding on to that piece."
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