Natasha Degen, Chair of the Art Market Studies program at FIT (Fashion Institute of Technology) in New York, talks about:

Juggling both art market research (including attending art fairs and market-related panels) and teaching/administrative work in her role as chair; the current transition of the market, more towards the most visibly branded and in some cases most powerful galleries, and the greater interest of the public, including globally, in contemporary art; how the brand of Art Basel (Miami) has gained such visibility that people go to Miami for the buzz and the product launches, etc., as much as for the fair itself, which they may not even attend; the goal of increasing diversity in the Art Market program, and the challenge of reconciling class issues that limit the ultimate barriers for entry into the professional art world(s); her prior career as a journalist, in which she got better access but also recognized the extent to which she was swept into the promotional machinery of the art world; the challenges of covering the art market, in getting through/beyond its opacity; the panel about art and money laundering that she participated in; the historically unprecedented rise of China in the art market, whose largest market categories are old masters and decorative art before contemporary art (for now); and the case of one young Chinese artist Natasha visited in New York, who turned down a show at a Lower East Side gallery but had sold out all the work in her studio to a Chinese collector through jpegs only.

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