The fate of the Art Market, as well all the other industries, is not extraneous to the crisis of Covid-19. However, together with the collateral effects of museums and galleries’ closure, the new solutions and possibilities must be taken into account. In the middle of the coronavirus paralyzes, the fate of the art market is not that predictable. According to the experts, this might be the chance to build a more sustainable industry.
Economic repercussions of Covid-19
On the other hand, the economic repercussions of Covid-19 have also started to feel stronger for some time. So much so that experts expect a slowdown in the Chinese economy of at least 4.5% in the first quarter of 2020. A slowdown that does not only affect the country’s internal economy but which is having repercussions all over the world. Many companies today are in difficulty due to the interruption of supply chains due to the closure of factories in China.
The first consideration to make is that Covid-19 forced galleries and fairs to turn to technological solutions. Many museums and galleries from all over the world started offering digitized experiences. From the Louvres to the MoMa, institutions used the impasse to create something that was needed.
Side effects: Artists Online
Among the “side effects” of the coronavirus there is the decision by Sotheby’s, and Christie’s to postpone the auctions scheduled. These included the auctions of the Asian Art Week in March in New York. As they explained, many “Asian colleagues and collectors were unable to attend the event”. That happened because of the virus and the consequent restrictions on entry into the country.
In particular, one of the most expected events of the year, Art Basel Hong Kong, happened entirely online. While artists from the world share on social media their perspective and experience, galleries are adapting as well to this new pattern.
Clearly, there will be immediate financial hits. Especially considered the number of international exhibitions and fairs that have been postponed or canceled. The data is even more dramatic when considering that galleries report an average of 45 percent of sales through fairs.
However, the state of emergency profiles itself to be the chance to modernize.
How the fate of the art market is evolving
According to the latest Art Basel/UBS report, the fate of the art market is evolving towards highly secure and personalized online platforms. The online retail is expected to grow considerably. In particular, the research group eMarketer in the Art Basel registered statistics that forecast growth of more than 85 percent in the next four years. The online platforms will grow from 14 percent to 22 percent in the art market.
Could the current situation also be a buying opportunity? Studies and analysis of previous financial crises state that artworks are safer assets during such emergencies. Art adviser Beaumont Nathan states that “There are no examples of collectors who were brave enough to buy in those turbulent times regretting what they bought”.