Manager Update - Q3 2014


Fund activity was practically on auto-pilot for most of Q3. While continuing to work on various acquisitions, consignments, travel planning and presentations, on the personal front it was quite a roller coaster. 

Gabriel Orzoco, Samurai Tree (Invariant 8), 2005Gabriel Orozco, 'Sumarai Tree (Invariant 8), 2005 (detail) 

Dealing with the dread of a rocket-filled summer, raging violence and overall anxiety about the prospects of a Middle East meltdown in the hands of IS on the one hand, and a house move and quality family time on the other, the return to normalcy in mid September was embraced with renewed passion and vigour.

Talks / Travel

I gave three talks in September, one just outside London at the 4th Follow The Entrepreneur Investor Summit (see video of talk) and two in Berlin at ArtFI - The Fine Art and Finance Conference. The feedback was truly encouraging.

Serge Tiroche art ArtFI Berlin, 2014ArtFI - The Fine Art and Finance Conference, Berlin, September 2014  

Upon my return I wrote a short email on September 24 to the immediate circle, which I share with you in its entirety:

"To the friends, investors, supporters and dedicated team of the Tiroche DeLeon Collection, tonight is Jewish New Year's Eve, so 'Shana Tova'. I wish you health, love, joy and prosperity. I take this opportunity to thank you all for the incredible support you have provided in the past year. It continues to be an amazing journey for me, a life-long passion and dream, and now a reality. I am optimistic as ever that we are on track to realize my biggest ambition of all, to make art collecting and investing accessible and available to a much broader community.

Supporting artists and the entire art eco-system is of paramount importance. Doing that whilst simultaneously adding economic, social and lifestyle benefits to investors is a dream come true! The word is getting around, the track record is being built, our team is being strengthened, the reputation intact and the collection growing stronger and more visible by the day. In this coming year I hope our most important remaining piece of the puzzle is also proven... the ability to attract a broader investor base.

I take this opportunity to welcome Dominique & Sylvain Levy, owners of the amazing dslcollection, to our Advisory Board. Sylvain and I spoke together in Berlin last week and realized how similar our trajectory, over the past 25 years, has been, how close our visions are, how complementary we can be to each other's efforts and how we share a true passion for contemporary Chinese art. A major exhibition of their collection will take place in Moscow this fall and they recently published a downloadable book of their groundbreaking collection. Please join me in welcoming Dominique and Sylvain.

I will end by saying that the fall quarter will be another test of our investment agility. With several significant works from the collection on offer at auctions in Hong Kong, New York and London, on private sale and on museum loans across the world. Some consignments have been in the planning for over a year now with the engagement of a network of galleries and, in one case, even the artist himself. This a novel approach to collaborating and hopefully one that will yield great support for the works. The new year is looking bright". 

The response from these talks has been overwhelmingly positive. Our push on transparency and our ethical approach, combining collecting passion with long term investment objectives, are setting the industry agenda, and clearly differentiating us from the other art investment houses. More and more people seem to be embracing our model and actively helping with introductions to potential investors. Boutique investment banks have also started showing interest and even the industry media has been supportive. 

Art Market 

Deloitte and Art Tactic, 'Art & Finance Report 2014'

September 24 also saw the release of the Deloitte and Art Tactic "Art & Finance Report 2014". This comprehensive annual publication about the state of the art market uses broad qualitative research. It forecasts continued strength in the next year supported primarily by wealth creation in developing markets. I strongly encourage you to read it in detail. We are mentioned on pages 96 and 97 of the report as one of only two transparent art funds that provide regular reportingThe research conducted states that the biggest hurdles banks face in introducing funds to their client base are: Due Diligence, Liquidity, Valuation and Track Record. As we are well into our fourth year now with fully audited records, a unique and proven valuation methodology, strong track record and a first liquidity window fast approaching in March 2017, we are better positioned than most to attract capital from courageous early adopters.

Contemporary Art Market 2014 - The Artprice Annual Report A few days later, on October 3, Artprice released their 2014 Contemporary Art Market Report. This comprehensive study covers many topics, but most relevant to us is their detailed analyses of the new auction markets in developing economies, particularly the Philippines, Africa, Middle East and Latin America. The report also discusses the latest trends: new price records and a listing of artists selling over €10 million; the ongoing competition between China and the United States for the biggest share of the global auction market; and ends by listing the top 500 artists by auction turnover in 2013/14. Another must read for savvy market participants. 

As I finalize this release, auctions have just taken place in Hong Kong. Results continue to indicate that the market in Asia is moving from strength to strength. Numerous new records were set, particularly at the Sotheby's auction where a Liu Xiadong work made a new $8.5 million auction record - we are lucky to own three small works by him in the collection.

Recent Loans
Erika Verzutti, 'Mineral', 2013Erika Verzutti, 'Mineral', 2013, installation view at Tang Museum at Skidmore College, New York

We continue to expand our global lending program. 'Mineral' - a major installation work by Brazilian artist Erika Verzutti, that we agreed to acquire in June during Art Basel whilst it was still on display at the Carnegie Museum of Art, Pennsylvania, has since moved and is now on display at The Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery in New York. 

Another recent acquisitions, Song Yuanyuan's 'Fei Tan' went on display at the OCAT Contemporary Art Terminal in Xi'an, China in September. Our Ai Weiwei 'Grapes' goes on display in Moscow from October 28 as part of a Chinese contemporary art exhibition at the Jewish Museum in Moscow, centred on works from the dslcollection. Our award winningRodel Tapaya, 'Kane of Kabunian, numbered but cannot be counted' is still on display at the Gwangju Biennale

Together with our ongoing loans at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art these loans strengthen our commitment to developing great relationships with world class museums and institutions. 

Serge Tiroche and Yaron HaramatiAfter over three years working as my right hand, Yaron Haramati, who was our Chief Operating Officer, has left the Tiroche DeLeon Collection. Yaron played a critical role in setting up the fund and was since responsible for the day to day operating activities and global logistics. He was also our collection manager, technology guru and business development head in Israel. Combining his passion for art with strong organisational skills and a drive for innovation, Yaron was instrumental to the fund's success. In his new role, Yaron continues to follow his passion for combining art and technology in a COO role in an Israeli start-up in the field. Please join me in wishing him best of luck in his new endeavours and thanking him for his multiple contributions to the Tiroche DeLeon Collection.  

Daniel Lev-er has assumed all of Yaron's responsibilities as COO. Please join me in congratulating Daniel on his well deserved promotion and in wishing him success.  



I look forward with anticipation to a busy fourth quarter, staring with trips to London for Frieze, Portugal and then Paris for FIAC. As always, I welcome your comments, thoughts and suggestions. Best wishes for an art packed fall season,

Serge Tiroche