Art fairs cancelled, art galleries and auction houses forced to close temporarily its doors, the contemporary art market has been hit hard by the crisis of the Coronavirus Covid-19. To minimize breakage, the different actors of the art market are re-inventing themselves. Among the new issues, the transition to digital holds a place of choice. How the digital comes to the rescue of the art market ?
What is the art market ?
The art market refers to the market of transactions of works of art It is divided in two sub markets. The first market corresponds to the whole of the works sold for the first time, most of the time through an art gallery online, art gallery, traditional or a fair item When works are resold in auction house or in private sales, then we speak of second market.
Object of lust for some real investment for the other, the art market is full. Evidenced by the amounts of the transactions whose works of art are subject. Now globalized art market is affected by the various upheavals and global issues. The health crisis of the Coronavirus Covid-19 is no exception to the rule. Just as the 2008 crisis and its brutal impact on the world of art, the containment of more than 4 billion people around the globe strongly affects the market of the item
Art market : what’s to report before the confinement ?
Already in 2019, the art market saw a sales decline of 5% in the world. -5% for the United States, -10% for China, or -9% for Great Britain, France remained the only country to do well, with an increase of 7% of the total market this year.
Representing 42% of the total market, the public auctions are those who have been most severely affected by the fall of 2019, with -17% of transactions. On the other hand, with +2%, private sales of the auctioneers and the sales of the dealers have known to be true a small progress, but progress all the same.
Transition to digital and the art market : effective response to the confinement ?
In the Face of this unprecedented situation, many sales and art fairs are cancelled. End-Point of the year 2020 ? No. At the time of the crisis of the Coronavirus Covid-19, the digital presents itself as the most effective way to take down the walls of containment. In fact, the web has the advantage of reducing the distance between the artist and the collectors.
Some art fairs are offered in digital version, in the image of Art Paris, which was to be held in early April at the Grand Palais and turned to a version that is 100% digital and open to the public. Thanks to the technology of the tool ” Online Viewing Room “, Art Paris, proposed a visit to the immersive 3D of the 150 art galleries that were expected.
For its part, Art Basel Hong Kong has put in place, at the end of march, a platform on which to 230 galleries were able to offer 10 works each. And collectors have responded to this : the mega-gallerist David Zwirner has sold more than 6 million of works including a painting by the artist, south african Marlene Dumas, which sold for $ 2.6 million and a work by Luc Tuymans sold for $ 2 million.
Art market online : good plan for the collectors ?
Art fairs are not the only ones to have taken the shift to digital. In fact, more and more art galleries offer a virtual version of their funds. Photographs, paintings, sculptures or lithographs, art galleries online allow you to discover and purchase all type of works.
The famous auction house, Drouot, has also adapted to the digital offering to the buyers to participate in on line to the sales room. It also offers the exclusivity of certain sales to users of the web, on the platform, “Drouot Online”.
The purchase and sale of art works online would also democratize the buying of art works by attracting a wider audience. Buying online is especially popular with young collectors and fans less familiar with the codes of the market who appreciate the discretion and convenience offered by the web, the transparency of information available online (including the price !) and the fact of being able to decide at his own pace.
Digitizing and art market : what are the challenges ?
The art does not escape the need to accelerate its transition to digital. By 2016, 46 % of the purchases of works of art have been made by the 18-35 year olds. By allowing market actors to renew their customer base among younger populations, to integrate new markets and establish their reputation, the digital appears more than ever as a way to stay afloat in this crisis of the Coronavirus Covid-19.
However, the digitization of the art market is a process still in construction. The main issue of the art market in row is in the development of sales, particularly of unit amounts high. In fact, according to the report, Art Basel 2020, the majority of big collectors buy online works not exceeding the price of 50 000 dollars.
Another challenge was the ability of online galleries to optimize their user experience in order to increase the sales potential. The quality of the images filmed and photographed, the ability to find the right words to describe the works, every detail counts.
There are many similarities between the challenges of the digital revolution of the art market and those of other business segments. However, the deregulation of the market of the art, its speculative nature and the high prices of some of the works are so many specifics to take into account.
The digitization of the art market includes both the online transactions and the new uses related to digital. Whether it’s the passionate collectors, art dealers, gallery owners, artists or novices, each player can take advantage of the digital transition, now essential to market the item
Author(s): Article Partner