by by Amanda Marquit

In such pressing economic times as these, buying art is one of the last things on anyone's agenda. Such expensive non-necessities are the first to go in tough times, as wondering what to put on that white wall in your living room is of lesser concern when you don't even have a living room anymore--much less the means to afford anything 'artistic,' save an un-matted Starry Night poster and a pack of thumb tacks. While those who were in the market for a multi-million dollar art purchase six months ago are not necessarily on their way to the poor house, even they are curtailing expenses. At the Frieze Art Fair in London last week, works by Basquiat, Koons and Richter met no bidders. The net profits at the Frieze were less than 50 percent of what was expected (estimates had ranged from $100-$132 million). Not only reflecting the domestic lack of disposable income, this tepid market also denotes the trickle-over effect that the American economic downturn is wreaking globally, casting a gloomy shadow over the international arts scene.