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Investing in the genius of art

Fine art is now mentioned in the same breath as equities, bonds and real estate as an asset class

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Andy Warhol's Triple Elvis (Ferus Type, left), a 1963 silkscreen ink, silver paint and spray paint on linen work fetched nearly US$82 million at Christie's, which was packed with bankers, hedge fund managers and art dealers. The work is touted as one of the artist's earliest pieces and one of his most influential. On the other end, Monet's portrait of Alice Hoschede (right) was sold for US$33.8 million, which represents a compounded rate of return of just 5.4 per cent since its last sale.

IF there were any remaining doubts that "making money is art," as Andy Warhol famously pronounced in his 1975 book, The Philosophy of Andy Warhol, they were surely vanquished on Nov 12. His silkscreen print Triple Elvis (Ferus Type), an image taken from a Hollywood studio publicity shot showing