Joe Syer, Head of Urban & Contemporary Art
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What are the key data highlights? By how much have these markets expanded in recent years? Who comes out top? Take a deep dive into these artist markets here:
Banksy maintains his seat as the most profitable artist on the contemporary print market, with Banksy print sales in 2021 totalling £39.2 million, and £12.8 million in the first half of 2022. So far in 2022 Banksy print sales have accounted for over 60% of this segment of the market in total value, securing his status as the leading artist in this category.
The average price paid for a Banksy print was £60,916, based on total sales through auction in the Q2 of 2022 - the highest average price paid for a print at the top end of the blue-chip contemporary print market.* In Q1 of 2022, this figure was even higher, at £72,741.
The total return for a Banksy print over a five year period (mid-2017 to mid-2022) also remains the highest on the market at 341.3%.
David Hockney is the second most profitable artist on the contemporary print art market. In 2022, Hockney’s top sale reached £504,000 at auction, for one of his iconic iPad drawings, The Arrival of Spring in Woldgate East Yorkshire, 4th May 2022 (2011). This was also the top performing print on the contemporary print market overall.
The average price paid at auction for a Hockney print in Q2 of 2022 was £27,831, a rise of 135.6% in the last five years (since Q2 2017). The average price paid for a Hockney print is continuing to steadily rise and the longevity of this market is clear.
The Hockney print market has expanded rapidly over the last five and a half years, its total value of annual sales increasing by 762.2% between 2016 and 2021, reaching a total of £7.3 million in 2021, and totalling £3.8 million in the first half of 2022. The average price paid for a Hockney print has increased by 211.5% in that same 5 year period, up a further 26.6% from 2021 so far in 2022.
In the five year period mid-2017 to mid-2022, Hockney prints have had a very high total return of 131.8%.
Alongside Hockney, the Damien Hirst print market is one of the largest and most stable, with print sales totalling £2.4 million in the first half of 2022. Between 2016 and 2021, total annual sales increased by 135.4% amounting to £3.7 million in 2021.
Hirst prints continue to increase in value, with return rates on his prints in the last five years being 57.6%. There is no doubt that Hirst has firmly established himself in the secondary market, and his prints offer a consistent middle ground for collectors, where the average price paid for a Hirst print was £11,254 in the first half of 2022.
Banksy is not only the most popular artist in this segment of the market, but the returns on his prints over a five year period outperform Hirst and Hockney. While the Banksy print market is not as established as the wider long-term markets of Hockney and Hirst, the Banksy print market is quickly beginning to prove itself as a serious space for long-term investors.
When looking for a high-value, high-reward investment opportunity, Hockney, Hirst and Banksy are by far the leaders in this segment of the print market.
Download our Contemporary Print Market Report to discover more about the experts’ opinions on this segment of the market. In this report, you can expect to find in-depth analyses of what makes prints a unique asset, a list of the best-performing artists on the market, as well as a list of artists to watch, and more print data that we have sourced just for you.
To read in more detail about the Banksy print market, download our report here.