6 business trends affecting the art world – Part 1

Posted on January 4, 2016 · Posted in Blog

business trends affecting the art world– Part 1What changes have you seen in the art world? Throughout 2016 we will be focusing on the business trends affecting the art world in recent years and how the art community can successfully address these challenges. Over the last year, we have spoken with many artists, gallerists, collectors and advisors and we will be sharing their insights along with our own experiences working with this community. Not surprisingly, the consistent theme is how to deal with the tension between Art as a business or an investment versus Art as a creative endeavor with intrinsic value. Our goal is to start a conversation about how to best mesh the business and financial side of art with the creative and personal side so that both sides benefit.

Here are a few of the trends we’ll be covering over the course of this year:

1. Global competition. Many small to mid-size gallery owners expressed the difficulty of competing for top talent against the growth of the mega galleries with offices throughout the world. A strong majority of individuals we spoke to also feel there is a shift in the delivery of art toward mega galleries who tailor to the specific wants of collectors and have their artists produce art for those collectors’ tastes.

2. Rising prices of art work. As some art work prices have increased to record levels, a plethora of well financed players have taken an interest and that has brought its own challenges. Many see the high prices being achieved at public auction and art fairs for select pieces has distorted the view of the general public that all art is getting these high prices and that art is an investment now that should trade like stocks and bonds. The media attention given to the historic prices only contributes to this view and has taken away from the work of artists trying to be creative and new. Some question whether the public still sees art as having value outside of just monetary means. Among the many fears is that there could be less support of public funding of art if it’s seen as being about money instead of understanding that art can still have incredible value just by making people think and feel.

3. The power of collectors. Many see a shift in power going from the galleries and critics to the collectors who are now calling the shots. There is a sense that the little guy and the small gallery are being more isolated and pushed aside than ever before. However, the flip side is that a larger and wealthier collector base should allow for more artists being able to support themselves. Also as the size of the collector base grows, there are more opportunities for small galleries to reach them. This is particularly true since even small galleries can use social media, digital auctions, and art fairs to conduct business worldwide.

In our next post, we’ll cover 3 more trends in the business of art.

Are you an artist, gallery or collector looking for help with your own financial challenges? Contact us for a consultation.