From the Medicis to the Guggenheims, art has always been a luxury reserved for the ultra-rich. But as it morphed from a form of expression to a high-priced commodity cash-rich corporations soon out-bid the family dynasties, buying up art as an alternative investment.
And although some of the most voracious buyers in the room have left the market faster than you can say abstract expressionism, there are still some big bidders out there.
Take hedge fund heavy Stevie Cohen of Sac Capital.
He's amassed what some say is the world's most expensive art collection. And now he plans to showcase his masterpieces inside newest investment - the auction house Sotheby's ; 6% of which he now owns.
Although art has been the investment of choice for the uber-wealthy for centuries the days of big whales paying millions for sharks in formaldehyde may be over – thanks to the financial crisis.
“I think there’s more downside in the art market,” says Karen Finerman. “We’re just starting to see the number of transactions dry up. We’re going to see prices heading lower.”
What’s the trade?
"If Worhol was a stock I’d short it,” she chuckles.