The Mexican art market is relatively new and minuscule when compared to more mature art markets such as the ones in the China, United States, and United Kingdom. According to the firm Artprice, in 2011, the art sales solely from auction houses reached $4,7140 million in China,
$2,720 million in the United States, and $2,240 million in Great Britain while the art sales in
Mexico only reached $6.5 million. This means that in 2011, Mexico only represented approximately 0.05% of the total art sales worldwide.7 Although the local art market in Mexico is relatively small, the Mexican art market has been performing better in the Untied States, specifically in New York, than it has been performing locally in Mexico. As mentioned previously, the Mexican art sales in 2011 in Mexico was $6.5 million however in New York, the Mexican art sales were more than four times the local sales reaching a total of approximately $27.9 million.8 Reasons for this discrepancy will be evaluated later, but
1 René Magnum Zardoya, Rufino Tamayo, http://www.laberintos.com.mx /rtamayo/ index.html 2 Diego Rivera, http://latinartjournal.com/diego-‐rivera-‐mexican-‐artist/ 3 Luis Garza, Jose David Alfaro Siqueiros, 1971, http://tirado.tumblr.com/post/ 1419652060/jose-‐david-‐alfaro-‐siqueiros-‐1971-‐photo-‐by-‐c-‐luis 4 Gunther Gerzso, http://www.artenadas.com.ar/2011/11/pintores-‐famosos-‐mexicanos-‐ gunther.html 5 Frida Kahlo, http://fineartamerica.com/products/2-‐frida-‐kahlo-‐1907-‐1954-‐granger-‐ greeting-‐card.html 6 Francisco Toledo, http://www.mexicanwave.com/blog/2005/09/index.html 7 Leticia Gasca Serrano, “El Inestable Camino del Negocio del Arte,” El Economista, http://eleconomista.com.mx/entretenimiento/2012/02/13/inestable-‐camino-‐negocio-‐arte 8 Serrano, “El Inestable Camino del Negocio del Arte”
the interesting aspect to take from these facts is that the Mexican art market in New York seems to be driven by one artist alone: Rufino Tamayo.
In the extent of my research, I analyzed the art sales, specifically sales of paintings, of six of the more well-known Mexican artists: Rufino Tamayo, Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, Gunther
Gerzso, David Alfaro Siqueiros, and Francisco Toledo. The performance of each artist both in
New York and Mexico was surveyed for the years between 1996 and 2011 excluding the years
1998 and 2000 for which specific art sales information was not found. Since in 2011 the sales of
Mexican paintings in New York was more than quadruple the sales in Mexico, the art sales trends of each artist in New York are of more interest. The summary of art sales of each artist in
New York auction houses is summarized in Figure 1. The information on the total Mexican art sales in New York was acquired from the image “Mexico, en las Subastas” (Mexico, in the
Auctions) which can be found in the Appendix A. The information on the art sales of each individual artist was acquired from artnet.com. Since no information was provided for the years
1998 and 2000, a linear interpolation has been drawn for these two years in all the research data
I have provided, thus the information provided for 1998 and 2000 in the chart of “Mexican
Artists’ Art Sales in New York Auction Houses” is not factual but rather a mere approximation.