He agrees that a less-is-more approach to the orgy of consumerism and December art fairs will benefit art lovers most. "Look, it's been a free-for-all at these art fairs with full-on aggression," Bruk observes. "We have all been bitching and moaning about these 25 fairs, and it will be better for everyone to slow down and look at the artworks and visit local galleries and still be energized by young artists — even if more established names are what might sell."
Though some of his colleagues appear addled by gloom, Bruk remains optimistic. "Hey, the writing may be on the wall for some of us. Some of my collectors got hammered on the market, and some have told me they won't be buying art anytime soon."
Bruk puts it into perspective by joking that even folks worth $100 million who found their fortunes whittled down to $80 million after the stock market crash are feeling poor these days. "Let's be realistic. No one needs contemporary art. You need a roof over your head and a car to get to work. Art is the ultimate luxury item, like a $50,000 fur coat. But I'm a survivor. If I have to, I'll sell part of my collection to pay the bills."