• 1st edition distributed in 2001

The origin of the Dictionary

In 1992, for the first time in the history of French art, the Government decided to act in the interest of the professions and trades of Art and Antiquities which were to be faced with European competition.
By ministerial decree of December 2, 1992, the Government entrusted me, as State Official and Expert in Art and Antiquities, with the heavy mission of "structuring the professions of Art and Antiquities" and this, from December 2, 1992 to December 2, 1995.
In this year 1992, the Europe of Art is entangled in its emerging contradictions, in particular, the free movement of goods and people is authorized, but the borders of art remain hermetic.
Sotheby's is even obliged to file a complaint with the European Commission against the French authorities who refuse to sell it at auction in France!
France, locked in its traditions, had taken too long to develop social and legal structures adapted to the changes which were to upset the Art and Antiquities market; especially for auctioneers, experts, gallery owners, antique dealers and these noble artists and craftsmen who restore paintings, furniture, ceramics, tapestries ... pride of French art but who cannot pass their knowledge on to apprentices: for fault of CAP, apprenticeship does not exist!
During this mission, I deplored this unfair indifference to which all actors of Contemporary Art are victims whenever the opportunity has been given to me, and this at all levels of the State. So I made a commitment to artists, heads of associations, exhibitions, and certain municipalities, to one day bring them my experience acquired during this government mission.
Since September 1, 2000, freed from all administrative obligations, the first step in this commitment has been the production of this listing dictionary.
To all those whom the words "quotation" and "market" would bother, finally, all those people who complain that "too many buyers do not see beyond the end of their portfolio and look at the quotation of the artist before his work ”, I point out that I share their indignation.
But it is clear that the "quotation" is the real judge of a market, and that the art market, like all others, needs transparency.

Christian SORRIANO

The new art market


A revolution is shaking the international art market. In France, licensed French and foreign trading companies are authorized to sell works of art, an area that had been the monopoly of auctioneers since 1556.
The longest page in the history of the French art market has therefore been definitively turned, and the American company Sotheby's inaugurated this new international art market, with its first sales in Paris, on November 29 and 30, 2001.
This reform obliges the auctioneers to transform into commercial companies. It is also the end of a regrettable confusion which has always "polluted" the market of living artists, under the pretext that their quotation was only materialized by the so-called "official" character of sales made by auctioneers. .
The reality of always is that the quotation of a living artist was established neither in the sales of the past of the auctioneers, nor in those carried out since this year by approved commercial companies, but by the sales carried out in the galleries, the salons or in the artists' workshops.
The works of art will therefore be auctioned off by commercial companies. This reform will redress an injustice and consolidate our approach for the benefit of contemporary artists. Because the legally justified sales, to the ASSOCIATION of MODERN and CONTEMPORARY ARTISTS, by artists and by gallery owners who have a passion for creation and who get involved financially, are as indisputable as the auctions carried out by commercial companies. .
The natural idea of ​​finally doing justice to living artists, by disseminating their real listing, opens a new era for the contemporary art market, because the artist's eternal aporia was: "To sell you have to be known." , and to be known you have to sell! It will be, we hope, finally resolved.
This quotation dictionary will be an essential reference and working tool every year for artists, gallery owners, experts, approved commercial companies, and all those who are directly or indirectly interested in the art market.

Christian SORRIANO

  • 2nd edition distributed in 2002

The quotation

Interview with Christian Sorriano "Magazine of Arts and Antiquities" - n ° 19 of July 2002

Christian Sorriano in charge of mission by the French government received by Mr. UEKI, Japanese Minister of Culture.


The art market has one more quotation book?
Everyone can write a rating book. Simply subscribe to the auction catalogs and publish the results. But if the listing of artists of the past depends exclusively on auctions, that of artists of the present is established in galleries, salons, workshops, auctions and even on the Internet.
As a result, the ASSOCIATION's auctioneers and experts, by researching and disseminating sales made outside of public auctions, offer the only dictionary which gives the true quotation of contemporary artists.
The art market has always neglected living artists, especially in a country where you have to be very old to be talented, and dead to be genius!

Yet auction listing is ingrained in the minds of artists and the public?
This confusion has always "polluted" the contemporary art market.
The reality is that art, like all other markets, is separated by three watertight bulkheads:
new, used and antiques. Some people prefer to sleep in old beds and eat from used dishes, others are allergic to the past and only live happily in the new. The same goes for paintings and works of art.
The clientele of galleries is not that of auctions.
A gallerist worthy of this title seeks "sensations" in artists 'studios and contemporary salons, while antique dealers and second-hand dealers make their "market", in auction rooms, in the unpacking of antiques and at their colleagues' homes.
And an artist who wishes to exhibit, presents his works to a gallery owner, and not to an antique dealer or a second-hand dealer!
The result is a regrettable confusion in the art market, and therefore a financial misunderstanding, to look in the results of auctions for the quotation of contemporary artists.
Even if foreign companies are now authorized to auction on French territory, an area which had been reserved for auctioneers since 1556, contemporary artists are not and never will be the "cup of tea" of these great Anglo-American houses. Saxon.

How is the choice of artists made?
It is materially impossible to know all the artists whose listing deserves to be disseminated. We hope, over the editions, to fill this gap.
The choice of artists is independent of their "notoriety", so to be exhaustive and satisfy all budgets, we can find the quotation of Van Gogh, Monet, Rodin, Picasso and all the other stars of the art market, but also that of artists whose sale prices are higher or lower than 1000 Euros.
In addition, we refuse all publicity, both in the dictionary and on the website, because all artists who exhibit deserve respect and equal opportunities.
It's up to the public to make their choice!

How did this “original” initiative come about?
"Original and revolutionary". For several years, I wrote an art and antiques column in several newspapers and in a television magazine. I received an average of 250 letters per week. Following a request for an estimate of a contemporary work, I naturally passed on the auction results mentioned in the quotation books, but the furious artist sent me invoices for the sales he regularly made. It was the click.
A few years later, when the French government appointed me in charge of mission to structure the professions of art and antiques, I deplored the unfair indifference to which all actors of contemporary art are victims. This mission therefore confirmed my interest in all these "forgotten" people of the art market, who nevertheless also trace their path and sow good seed there!

A new listing book in a new art market?
In fact, since July 2001, auctioneers have lost their monopoly on voluntary sales, and their studies have been transformed into commercial companies. This legislation reinforces our support for the benefit of contemporary artists. Because sales justified by artists and gallery owners who have a passion for creation and who get involved financially, are as respectable as sales made at auctions by French or foreign commercial companies!
In this maze of contemporary art where, as everywhere, the best can rub shoulders with the worst and, as a result, even exasperate, we have developed a rating dictionary and a website, where nothing has been left to amateurism. , even if the ASSOCIATION is non-profit, and that the auctioneers and experts who compose it are all volunteers.

Is the Internet also opening up a new era for artists?
Indeed, it is a borderless showcase that opens up for all artists, professionals and art lovers, with a freedom to exhibit and sell that they are not yet aware of.
I hope that "real professionals" in the art will take an interest in this wonderful communication tool, and not leave artists dependent on sites managed anonymously by computer scientists attracted by the financial aspect alone.

Christian SORRIANO

  • 3rd edition distributed in 2003


"At the top of the sumptuous avenue of the Champs-Élysées ..."


Two main components determine the art market: one relating to antiques and the other to contemporary art.
Lovers of antiques are regulars at auctions, fairs, antique shops, second-hand shops ...
Contemporary art lovers frequent galleries, artist studios, salons, fairs ...
Each of its markets has its professionals, its amateurs, its collectors, its books, its magazines and even its museums.
But if the art market has quotation books, contemporary works sold in galleries, salons or workshops are absent, because only those auctioned are broadcast.
So, with the natural idea of ​​bringing together in a quotation dictionary, works from the past and the present, which have been sold and bought in auctions, galleries, salons or workshops, it is the living artists who will finally emerge from the deep and dark abyss of indifference deplored by the luminous Francis JOURDAIN: “At the top of the sumptuous avenue of the Champs-Élysées, under the Arc de Triomphe magnified by the genius of Rude, lies the Unknown Soldier, dark corpse, without name, without family, without friends, without love, poor being who, in agony, could not recall the memory of a shake of the hand, of an affectionate look, of a surge of heart. And, thinking that Art also has its anonymous coffins near which no torch burns, that no laurel wreath covers and that the crowd ignores, it is you, an unknown artist who fell on your road, exhausted and desperate, it is to you that I dedicate this book with my respectful pity and my great tenderness ”Francis JOURDAIN (preface to the Salon d'Automne in 1926)

Christian SORRIANO

  • 4th edition distributed in 2004

The distribution of 10,500 photos in a book, a feat and a world record!

In this society of excessive consumption, where the artist only exists through a wide viewing and distribution of his works and his listing, the Dictionary of Artists' Ratings, with a complete annual reworking of its listings, sales and photos, s 'identifies with the news of his time.
The Dictionary's other feat is to cover the entire art market, with the dissemination of its 50,000 listings and sales. Indeed, if the listing of artists of the past depends exclusively on auctions, that of artists of the present is established in Galleries, Salons and Workshops. As a result, this Dictionary, by researching and disseminating sales made outside of auctions, is the first work in the history of art to give the rating of contemporary artists.
This false and inconsistent rumor that only auctions were "official" has always polluted the contemporary art market. It caused: confusion for the public and a mirror to the larks for the artists. Finally, it is legally over since the law of July 2001, but too many people are still unaware that auctioneers are no longer ministerial officers, that their studies have been transformed into commercial companies and that they have lost the monopoly of auctioneers. voluntary sales. Let them know now!
If exploits and records are made to be broken, we wish and have the very great ambition to beat them from the next edition, always in the spirit of our motto: "To say it is good but to show it c 'is better ! "

Christian SORRIANO

  • 5th edition distributed in 2005

A revolution has turned the international art market upside down!

In France, commercial voluntary sales companies are authorized to sell by auction, an area which has been the monopoly of auctioneers since 1556.
The longest page in the history of the French art market was definitely turned in 2001, with the first sales in Paris of the American company Sotheby's.
This reform forced auctioneers to turn into trading companies for voluntary sales. These companies are even authorized by the law of July 10, 2000 to sell by mutual agreement. These sales are materialized by the same constraints as antique dealers and second-hand dealers, ie the obligation to keep a Police Book up to date.
This is the end of an unfortunate confusion that has always "polluted" the market for living artists, under the pretext that their listing was only materialized by the so-called "official" character of sales made by auctioneers.
The reality of always is that the quotation of a living artist was established neither in the sales of the past of the auctioneers, nor in those carried out for five years by commercial companies of voluntary sales, but by the sales made in the auctioneers. galleries, salons or in artists' studios.
The very natural idea of ​​finally doing justice to living artists, by disseminating their real listing, opens a new era for the contemporary art market, because the artist's eternal aporia was: “To sell you have to be known. , and to be known you have to sell! ”, it will, we hope, finally be resolved.
Since its first edition, this quotation dictionary has been an essential reference and working tool, for artists, gallery owners, experts, voluntary sales companies, and all those who are directly or indirectly interested in the market of art.
To all those who are embarrassed by the words “quotation” and “market”, finally, all those people who complain that “too many buyers do not see beyond the end of their wallet and look at the artist's quotation before his work ”, I point out that I share their indignation.
But it is clear that the "quotation" is the real judge of a market, and that the art market, like all others, needs transparency.

Christian SORRIANO

  • 6th edition published in 2006

Since the distribution of the first edition of the Quotation dictionary and the opening of our two websites, we have kept repeating that if the quotation of artists of the past is exclusively dependent on auctions, that of artists of the present is establishes in Galleries, Salons, Workshops and incidentally at auctions.
As a result, the Quotation Dictionary, by also researching and disseminating sales made outside of auctions, has become the reference and essential working tool for artists, gallery owners, experts and all those who are interested in near or far at the Art market.
This year, in addition to the renewal of quotations and sales, with the GUID'ART we are taking a new major step in the establishment of a large group of Art and Antiquities, materialized by the complete overhaul of the 'work: either on the front the "LISTING DICTIONARY" and on the back the "GUID'ART".
The GUID'ART presents for each artist, his business card illustrated with two of his works, and contains a CD with his exhibition gallery and other information about him, which can be found on the sites and Listed Artists. .
Thanks to this innovation, which is as interesting for artists as for professionals and art lovers, we have built with the GUID'ART a unique and dynamic space, so that all the bookstores distributed by LAROUSSE become for our artists as many permanent galleries. .
Enter the GUID'ART, and discover the largest Art Gallery ever published in a book and accessible to all audiences. It gives you the opportunity to get to know the artists, to appreciate them, then to contact them.
You will find that Art is not the arrogance to display exorbitant prices on anything, for the sole purpose of interesting the media. On the contrary, it is a pleasure accessible to all budgets, and the acquisition of a work turns out to be a simple process, as the GUID'ART proves.

Good visit !

Christian SORRIANO

  • 7th edition released in 2007

The feat of the Quotation Dictionary is to cover the entire Art market, with the dissemination of the quotation of artists of the past dependent exclusively on auctions, and that of artists of the present established in galleries, salons or in their workshops.
As a result, this Dictionary, by researching and disseminating sales made outside of auctions, is the first work in the history of art to give, since its first edition, the true rating of contemporary artists.
The natural idea of ​​doing justice to living artists, by disseminating their true listing, has opened a new era for the contemporary art market.
Thus, over the years, the Quotation Dictionary has become a reference and an essential working tool for artists, gallery owners, antique dealers, experts, and all those who are directly or indirectly interested in the market. Art.

Christian SORRIANO

The Guid'Art presents for each artist his business card illustrated with two of his works. Thanks to this innovation, which is as interesting for artists as it is for professionals and art lovers, the bookstores distributed by LAROUSSE have become, with Guid’Art, as many permanent galleries for our artists.
These artists represent different trends in visual art today, with its vitality and extraordinary diversity. They are painters, sculptors, designers, engravers, photographers ... whose artistic creation is their raison d'être.
They have given a soul and a breath of life to a work, so that it will delight the eye and the spirit of the people who will hang it on a wall or place it on a piece of furniture in their daily life.
Do not hesitate to contact our artists directly, you will find that Art is a pleasure accessible to all budgets, and the acquisition of a work turns out to be a very simple process.

Christian SORRIANO

  • 8th edition released in 2008

Two main components determine the art market: one relating to antiques and the other to contemporary art.
Antique lovers are regulars at auctions, antique fairs ...
Contemporary art lovers frequent galleries, artist studios, salons, fairs ...
Each of these markets has its professionals, amateurs, collectors, books, magazines and even museums. Because, there is no secret and no mystery! To make the public want to live with paintings, sculptures, drawings, engravings, photos ... we need a wide distribution of works of art.
Since the distribution of the first edition of the Quotation Dictionary and the opening of our two websites, we have repeatedly said that if the quotation of artists of the past is exclusively dependent on auctions, that of artists of the present is establishes in Galleries, Salons, Workshops and incidentally at auctions.
The feat of DICTIONARY DE LISTING DES ARTISTES - LAROUSSE diffusion, identifies with the news of its time by covering the entire art market.
As a result, with the dissemination also of sales made outside of auctions, the Listing Dictionary has become the reference and essential working tool for artists, gallery owners, experts and all those who are closely interested in or from afar at the Art market.
The other achievement for ten years has been the unique, solid and dynamic spaces of our “DICTIONARY DES ARTISTES COTES”, “LES ARTISTES COTÉS” and “GUID'ARTS” sites, as they beat their visitor records every day, and that they are the first in the world in the search for “listed artists”, “artist ratings”… on Google and other search engines.

Christian SORRIANO

  • 9th edition distributed in 2009

Unheard of in Paris


To respond to the public's enthusiasm, the Monet exhibition at the Grand Palais ended with a 4-day and 3-night "non-stop" marathon! Thousands of people lined up undeterred by the hours of waiting in the bitter cold of those wintery nights. The exhibition welcomed 910,000 visitors from September 22, 2010 to January 24, 2011, a record!

The art market is also setting auction records, with highs that have not been seen for a long time. In November 2010, more than $ 1 billion worth of works were traded at Christie’s, Sotheby’s and Phillips sales in New York. It is globalization that is causing prices to explode, with its race for records. A sitting nude by Modigliani 68.9 million dollars, a back nude by Matisse 49 million dollars, Claude Monet's "water lily basin" went to 28 million dollars, a cubist canvas by Juan Gris, for 29 million of dollars ; without forgetting the fashionable artists including Basquiat, Koons, Murakami and Warhol who exceeded 50 million dollars for his painting "Men in her Life" from 1962: all fly at a price of gold ...

Globalization benefits the market, confidence is back among buyers and sellers. The appetite of buyers comes from emerging countries like China, India and Russia as well as more traditional countries in Europe and America. Is this a return to speculation? New millionaires have a real desire to buy, but not just any artwork. They rely on the sure values ​​of the big names. At the end of the 70s, the successes of Van Gogh and other geniuses had brought all the other artists in their wake, great and small masters, there was something for all tastes and all budgets.

What about contemporary artists in all of this? So enter the Quotation Dictionary and you will see that Art is not only exorbitant prices, it is also an accessible pleasure that everyone can imagine. You will be able to acquire works of talented artists, on their Internet portal accessible directly or through the sites "DICTIONNAIRE ARTISTES MODERNES et CONTEMPORAINS" (DCDAMEC), "Les Artistes Cotés" and "Guid'Arts".

Christian SORRIANO

  • 11th edition released in 2012


More than two billion Internet users, including 40 million in France, can afford a library with the click of a mouse or build up a discography or filmography in a few minutes. In addition, not content with having all information in all fields, they create it on social networks, such as Facebook, Twitter and MySpace, thus transforming themselves into "webactors". Everything is going fast, too fast! The planet seems to be shrinking; nothing can resist the Internet: work, communication, consumption, meetings, living environment. We are witnessing a change in civilization; our benchmarks and our values ​​implode before our eyes. In this new civilization, as in all civilizations since the world became a world, the thread of Art was not interrupted. Art has always been defined by its unchanging character of beauty. Today it has to shock to exist. Absurdity! There is no worse enemy to Art than the lack of distinction between Beauty and Ugly. Even more devious is to pass off so-called "decorative" works for artistic works. The height of ridicule was reached in England during the exhibition of an American artist: supposed to represent the dangers of the planet, his plastic water bottle placed on a pedestal was sold for € 63,000! How do you recognize the true artist? Quite simply if he became one with his work, and if, from this body to body, a breath of life was born; conversely, if he was only a spectator during the "execution", he is an impostor. Art is not the arrogance of posting exorbitant prices on anything for the sole purpose of making the media talk. Art must be a pleasure accessible to all budgets; its acquisition must be simplified. On the strength of these convictions, we have built unique spaces on the Internet where, for thirteen years, the public can appreciate the works of our listed artists, which run over and over on the home pages of our sites. For there is no secret or mystery; it takes a wide distribution of works of art to showcase artists and make the public want to acquire their works. We have also drawn up this Quotation Dictionary, with the dissemination of the quotation of artists of the past dependent exclusively on auctions, and that of artists of the present established in galleries, salons and workshops. As a result, it is the only work that gives the true rating of contemporary artists.
Christian SORRIANO

  • 12th edition published in 2013

You have to get used to it ...

The Art market, with its insolent sales resembling Euromillions, mocks wars and economic crises. Life is unfair, in any case everyone is unfair, it is unfortunately necessary to get used to it; works of art have become a great refuge. In addition, betting on beauty is a more exciting bet than investing in stone, gold or stocks. So, speculate or dream?

Since the day when the caveman felt the need to paint the walls of his cave to embellish it, Art is what humanity has been able to bequeath most beautiful to future generations. Art, this eternal theater of human passions, has its privileged people, including the wealthy, experts, merchants and artists. We can now add many institutions with curvy credits, such as the American and British pension funds.

The year 2012 was auspicious for auctions, bursting with their string of records with extravagant sums, which are only the tip of the iceberg. In private, the rich amateurs and the institutions of old Europe, America or emerging countries fight the majority of sales where Van Gogh, Monet, Picasso, Rodin, Klimt and other great masters are no longer the "heroes". . It is quite simply by the lack of masterpieces still available from these geniuses that the market is carried away by a pastel of Munch, "The cry", acquired for 107 million dollars, new world record. At the Munch Museum in Oslo, the oil painting of this drawing would therefore be worth $ 500 million! Likewise, a minor and late painting by Picasso, the "Nude on the Sculptor's Plateau" from 1932, sold for 82 million euros, raising the price of any major work by the Spanish painter to hundreds of millions. euros! We dare not imagine the sale price of a work by Van Gogh reappearing on the market! On the floor below, Warhol reached $ 43 million, Jeff Koons $ 34 million, Jean-Michel Basquiat $ 26.4 million, Richard Dieberkorn $ 13.5 million and, Gerhard Richter at 81, is the painter living on more expensive. His painting "Abstraktes Bild" sold by Eric Clapton sold for $ 34 million last October, ten times more than the legendary British guitarist had paid in 2001.

2012 was also a brilliant year for museums: the Louvre welcomed nearly 10 million visitors, one million more than in 2011; the Center Pompidou and the Musée d'Orsay also broke their attendance records. Today, is there a better bulwark against the crisis than art? And wouldn't culture in all its forms be the best remedy for the gloomy environment? To meditate ...

Christian and Rémi SORRIANO

 

  • 13th edition released in 2014

You have to live with the times

This expression is often used to express resignation. We must thus accept the obvious, accept what is imposed on us, accept the times in which we live, without hesitation and without eyebrows. In short, you have to live in the spirit of your time. The small world of Contemporary Art is no exception to the rule, with its political and financial “elite”, proud of its identity and its superiority. For thirty years, it has imposed “cultural identity” and “cultural exception”. This elite denies artists and their works to replace them with anything, almost nothing, knowing how to shock!

The examples are numerous since this extravagant idea of ​​distorting the courtyard of the Palais Royal, an architectural masterpiece and historic high place of Paris, by a set of zebra columns manufactured industrially and which we would like to make us believe is "sculptural "! At this visit in February 2014, of a so-called Contemporary Art fair which was painful dizziness. Galleries had the ridiculousness of exhibiting a single piece on their stand, including a broom in a bucket of water, a fake blue cardboard ball, a plastic child's gun spinning on a tripod, and another balloons balloons burst on a black painted floor!

In conclusion, “By wanting to live with the times, you die with the times. »Stendhal

"You have to live with the times ..." also implies that you have to be at the cutting edge of progress, renew yourself, act and not just resign yourself. This has been our fight for fifteen years, with in particular the so natural dissemination of the true quotation of contemporary artists, calculated on the sales made in galleries, salons or workshops. This year we are opening a new era for the contemporary art market, we will surprise and not only our listed artists ...

Christian and Rémi SORRIANO

  • 14th edition released in 2015

Prehistory begins before 1993 ...

On September 16, 2014, the threshold of one billion websites, for nearly three billion Internet users in 200 countries, was crossed. We can better understand the feelings of this whole generation born at the end of the 20th century, for whom prehistory begins before 1993, that is to say before the Internet.

We barely talk about it in France, but this digital revolution is disrupting the global art and antiques market. With the number of works purchased online increasing by 36% between 2013 and 2014. The American company Christie’s was the first to make 100% online sales, such as the Elisabeth Taylor jewelry collection. Its competitor Sotheby's holds with "The birds of America" ​​by John Audubon auctioned for 3.5 million dollars, the record for a work bought by an Internet user. The power of electronic commerce is such that Sotheby's has just joined forces with Ebay: “This alliance allows us to take a major step forward in the development of online auctions, with exceptional items. Said Devin Wenig, president of eBay.

What about contemporary artists in all of this?

Since the publication of the first edition of this Dictionary in 2001, we have not stopped repeating that we are at 13 rue Drouot, and that if the contemporary artist were to be auctioned, we would not even have the street to cross to organize sales at the Hôtel Drouot which is at n ° 11. Since the auction market is a second-hand market where buyers are resellers, mainly antique dealers and second-hand dealers, the general public and the works of artists contemporaries have always been excluded.

Today, with the emergence of e-commerce and its simplicity of purchase, in addition to the dissemination of information and photos in one click to all corners of the world, the auction rooms have become showcases without borders, moving from an elite audience to a growing universal audience that buys high-end products over the Internet.

In this new market, contemporary artists are not and never will be the “cup of tea” of Anglo-Saxon and French auction houses, which have always ignored them. Because the management of living artists is another profession, with its very heavy administrative and legal constraints.

But artists will finally have the privilege of regularly and transparently selling their works at public auction in our new Auction House, which is scheduled to open in spring 2015.

Christian and Rémi SORRIANO

  • 15th edition released in 2016

Expert and "expert"?

In the art and antiques market, the amateur of all countries who has transformed in a few decades into a financial investor, is constantly looking for guarantees, of which the certificate of expertise and the quotation are the keys. Without these keys, the door to the transaction is closed and the financial value of the work withers. Therefore, vigilance is essential in terms of expertise, in this international market subject to the irrational and to human behavior that often goes beyond comprehension. It is indeed surprising that any amateur calls himself an "expert". There are nearly 3,000 in France, antique dealers, gallery owners, art critics, collectors, exhibition organizers and to make matters a little more complicated, beneficiaries of deceased artists. Another worrying fact, art historians are now playing experts. They know everything about the life of an artist but they have rarely had his works in their hands. The height of the ridiculous is reached by auction companies which regularly organize in their country, "Expert Days" without expert!

Thus, this world of expertise, so poorly understood by laymen, is frequented by characters from all walks of life, who do not hesitate to use unorthodox methods to extort money. So how do you navigate it? How do you know if the expert is an expert? If the certificate of expertise and the quotation have a value?

Simply by reading the business card. When we are sick, we go to the doctor of medicine and not to the veterinarian! Moreover, a person who appends the only wordexpert to his name, without any title, is an expert… but in swindling! They proliferate like the weed especially on the Internet.

Finally, the only titles of regulated experts are judicial experts and customs experts and assessors, the latter being the only one granted by ministerial decree.

We all have one or more specialties in antiques. Surprisingly, for decades I was the only regulated expert in contemporary art!

Finally, by ministerial decree of January 6, 2015, a second expert specializing in antiques and contemporary art was appointed near customs, Rémi Sorriano, my son and my collaborator since 1997. We are now seven experts near customs in antiques, two of whom also in contemporary art. I can no longer oppose the quote from Paul Valery: "A man alone is always in bad company". But alas, "bad company" is still alive and continues to profit from the naivety of the public.

Christian and Rémi SORRIANO

  • 16th edition released in 2017

Scene of ordinary life ...

With the development of the Web and new technologies, many activities are created and then take hold or evaporate. The art market is not immune to the experiments of these adventurers who came to heckle its ancestral traditions such as those of auctioneer and expert. They present themselves under one of these titles: "art broker", "art dealer", "art distributor", "art consultant", "artistic management consultant" ... in questionable emails to looks like a museum inventory. It's like we're on a masterpiece drip while walking around Ali Bob’s cave!

But while the present is dizzying, the future is worrying for the art market, where the anonymity of sellers and buyers has always been the rule. Because discretion contributes to the value and rarity of works; otherwise, they would be "roasted" and would become unsaleable.

Each month, there is an avalanche of works that accumulate in our couriers at the speed at which they circulate, and whose authenticity is often difficult to ascertain. The last ones received are mediocre reproductions of bronze sculptures by Edgar Degas such as “La petite arabesque” at 40,000 €, but on sale at 1,720 € in the Louvre shops and on the Internet, and by Rodin such as “Le Penseur” at € 95,000, but on sale at € 695 in the Rodin Museum shop and on the Internet or of a Klimt painting with its history, exhibitions, bibliography, while the original ... has been in a Museum since a century. There are also Van Gogh, Giacometti, Renoir, Monet, Matisse, Rothko… We are curiously awaiting the photos and the selling prices of “La Joconde”, “Rafeau de la Méduse” and “La Venus de Milo”.

What about contemporary artists in all of this? You will discover some over the pages. They are painters, designers, engravers, photographers ... Creation is their raison d'être. They gave a soul and a breath of life to their works that you can acquire directly on their sites: dictionnairedesartistescotes.com, guidart.com or artistscotes.com. You will find that art is a pleasure accessible to all budgets, and not just outrageous prices on anything.

Christian and Rémi SORRIANO

  • 17th edition released in 2018

Once… twice… three times… awarded!

If you've never walked through the doors of an auction house and never had the chance to participate in the auction fires with its theatrical flair and dose of excitement, it's too late!


The coldness of the Internet revolution has supplanted the heat of traditional sold-out auctions. Today, buyers sit comfortably at their computers, watching and hearing live commentary from the auctioneer, as if they were in the auction room. With its easy, one-click, real-time purchase, auctions have become standard practice for art and antiques buyers in all countries. We can see this in our sales with a spectacular increase in lots sold over the Internet. They were 55% in our last sale for 40% telephone bidding and 5% on buy orders. We have shipped lots to 17 countries. Internet auctions are bringing about profound changes, and sources of unexpected opportunities for buyers and sellers whose works are distributed across the planet.

And the living artists in all of this?

The merger between the Internet and auctions brings unexpected opportunities for traditional sales of art and antiques. But this fusion is a double-edged sword, of which the living artists are the victims. The other auction houses rightly object that buyers have the possibility of bypassing them by contacting the artists directly via the Internet, so as not to pay the selling costs. This is how the gallery owners have disappeared, to make way for traders "renters of walls". The buyers had contacted the artists directly, to avoid paying the share due to the gallery owners.
Aware of this unfair exclusion from auctions, we have "revolutionized the auctions of living artists", by distributing the link to their site, below each of their works. Since the edict of Henry II in 1556 which created master auctioneers' offices, this is the first time that an Auction House has given buyers contact details for sellers!
Thus, artists have the privilege of presenting their works on the prestigious sites of Drouot and the Lausanne auction house, under the same conditions as all works put up for sale at the Drouot hotel. With the publication of the listing of living artists in our Dictionary of Listed Artists, these auctions open to the world are our rays of sunshine in the cold water of contemporary art. The future is ours.

Christian and Rémi SORRIANO

  • 18th edition released in 2019

Definitive condemnation of online databases on the Art market

From the last blow of the hammer and the signing of the minutes, we had an emergency, the deletion of the photos in our auction catalogs before their recovery and dissemination on the Internet. This is to protect the interests of sellers and buyers. Because a work "reduced" (not sold) at auction is considered "burned" by the dissemination of its photo. Likewise, when a professional bought a work for which the sale price was published, he had difficulty reselling it.

The Court of Cassation closes the debate

On January 31, 2018, the Court of Cassation confirmed the judgment of the Paris Court of Appeal of September 30, 2016, which for the first time recognized protection of sales catalogs through copyright on the basis of Article L. 112-3 of the Intellectual Property Code, since the catalogs have an originality in their composition, the implementation of the batches and their writing imbued with the personality of their author.

The decision rendered by the Court of Cassation definitively closes the debate on photographs which "can constitute so many works of the mind, the use of which without authorization is necessarily penalized for infringement".

The European Court confirms it

In addition, the European Court recalled on August 7, 2018 that a photograph is likely to be protected by copyright provided that it is an intellectual creation of the author reflecting the personality of the latter and manifesting itself through free and creative choices.

The decisions of the Court of Cassation and the European Court have not had much resonance, as they usher in a new era of freedom, for auctions and the art market in general.

Christian and Rémi SORRIANO

  • 19th edition released in 2020

GOD SAVE THE QUEEN!

"Difficult art than that of an expert in Antiquities

Appearances are often very deceptive because the “artistic Assassins” are more and more skilful and the circumstances confusing.

As soon as I received the catalog for the sale of September 27, 1989, organized by Christie’s in London, I hastened to point out to my English colleague that several fakes were in the sale. A week later, he sent me a two-page letter stating:

“Thank you for your letter. We agree on lots 185, 186, 187 and 188, they were withdrawn from the sale. Regarding lot 195, I would like to receive any evidence regarding your comments on the authenticity of the lamp.

Other people have expressed doubts and we would like to know a lot more about it to avoid mistakes in the future. "

Gallé's lamp had only three flaws: the signature, the decor and the shape!

“Regarding lot 211, the Gallé vase, I unfortunately cannot verify because it was unsold and taken back by its owner. "

In London, the expertise is therefore done after the sale!

“Lot 215 had excellent provenance. We have no doubts about the age of this batch.

I think the 27,000 pounds selling price proves we were right. "

Moral for this bundle: If you want to get rid of a copy, give it to a friend with a particle name and a red buttonhole pin.

“I really appreciate your point of view. As you can understand, there are a lot of fakes. Most of these are rejected, but sometimes some may escape us. "

In conclusion, Gentlemen, Englishmen, your knowledge has one day the colors of Waterloo and the next day those of Austerlitz. "

(Article published in TV Hebdo, Le Provençal, Le Méridional and Var Matin, on December 22, 1991)

Christian and Rémi SORRIANO

  • 20th edition released in 2021

THE ART MARKET ...

The First World War, with its 18 million deaths, marked the world's tragic entry into the twentieth century. As soon as the armistice was signed, a pandemic called the Spanish flu spread to all countries from 1918 to 1919, killing nearly 100 million people, or 5% of humanity. After these two appalling tragedies, there was intense social, economic and cultural activity. The 1920s will be called "The Roaring Twenties" by its exuberant and euphoric cultural wave set up as a way of life. This is the era of Art Deco, the Hollywood dream factory, ocean liners and the days of Coco Chanel, jazz and Surrealism. The Roaring Twenties came to an abrupt end with the 1929 stock market crash in New York. Today, immersed in the drama of the coronavirus with its uncertainties and fears, the world is asking: what world are we going to live in?

… AFTER THE CORONAVIRUS HEALTH CRISIS

Everything is going fast, too fast! We have lost our cultural references with the disaster of theaters, cinemas and museums extinguished by the coronavirus. The actors of the art market, enamored of splendor and grandeur have also been imposed a dry regime
like everyone else, with the ban on auctions, shows, fairs, galleries and antique stores. But since the world became a world, the thread of the art market has never been interrupted, even in times of war, pandemic or economic crisis. It is in this context that we have organized, like the majority of our colleagues, auctions relayed live on the Internet. The auction was a success, but how strange it was to see auctions flare up on computers and over the phone, then auction in front of a huge and deserted hall.


When this health crisis is over, culture and art will be the best medicine to build the world of tomorrow, as during "The Roaring Twenties"

Christian and Rémi SORRIANO