The advent of the lockdown has paralyzed the dense calendar of events scheduled for the first half of 2020. After the first crash, it was the turn of the of online content: galleries, fairs, and biennials launched the onslaught of digital, sparking a real fight at the last view.
Now is the time for new rules for the art market. The extent of the damage must be assessed, and the teachings received must be treasured. Starting from the lesson of the auction houses.
The online and offline art market
No exhibitions, no vernissages, no fairs. The art market has been severely tested by Covid-19 and has chosen to take refuge on the web.
While on the one hand, the quarantine provoked a very dangerous setback, especially for the small players of the system. On the other hand, it also laid the optimal premises for experiencing the online dimension of the art market. Thus, while the Venice Biennale is being postponed, auction houses multiply their online activities and obtain new successes.
This is not an unexpected event. Art was always an excellent source of investment to turn to when market stability is uncertain.
The art world is betting on the online market
Sotheby’s has been one of the great protagonists of the digital turn of the art market. With more than fifteen appointments between March and June 2020, the auction house generated online sales worth over $ 100 million. That’s almost four times the amount of 2019 in the same period. It is a record achievement in the web, where a work rarely exceeds the maximum range of $ 500,000.
Christie’s also appeared on the web, with a less busy calendar than the competition but with equally encouraging results.
The new market alliances
Online sales favor a certain transparency in transactions and facilitate the opening to new audiences, including that of generations of young collectors who were literally born on the web.
The experience of Covid-19 has undoubtedly given new stimuli to the art market. Not only has the online dimension proven to be reliable, but it has also stimulated interesting new alliances. Now it remains to see how sustainable these strategies are and how they will influence the artistic production of the future.
In short, despite some moments of decline and settling, often related to individual artists, art continues in the short and long term its constant rise by increasing its value, continuing to reward quality and acting as a safe haven, with the possibility for those who he collects it to sell it, now more and more quickly and in perfect safety, and also using the resources that derive from it if necessary.