Art: a special business

The epidemic did not bring the field of art to earth. In people’s minds, art, the field of dreams, has little to do with business and yet … Although there are still very few entrepreneurs entering this market, it proves to be overwhelming. Small galleries once became large companies and some artists were famous around the world. Art doesn’t just stop at works, it also does sales, marketing and networking.

A very thriving market

According to the latest online art market report published in July by Hiscox, the digital transactions of Sotheby’s, Christie’s and Phillips generated 370 million dollars (313 million euros) in the first half of 2020, more than five times that higher than both. season in 2019

After a few relatively difficult years, the art market is finding a second life rental. In 2015 and 2016, there was a sharp decline of -10% and -23% in the art market. The year 2017 was able to rebound with growth of 20%. Thanks to tremendous fortune around the world and works that sell better, at very high prices, a real craze has taken place. Growth continues with millionaires and billionaires proliferating and very often focused on buying outstanding works. Especially since the whole world is concerned, buyers from all over the world are flocking to auctions or even private sales. They are not the only ones coming from all continents, as well as companies. In 2017, China topped world sales with 5.1 billion, the United States took second place and France was only fourth with 5% of global turnover.

If such growth happened in 2017, it would be largely thanks to consumers from all walks of life whose demand varies. Art lovers, they generally prefer to confine themselves to works of their national heritage. But the vast art market is so diverse that consumers are no longer reluctant to buy works they didn’t target before.

According to Julie Hugues, Art Market and Private Client Manager Hiscox “

However, Covid-19 seems to be reshuffing cards and could act as a catalyst, giving both new strength and breath to online sales. We look forward to seeing how the market develops in the coming months and years to come. ”.

In 2019, sales in the online art market reached approximately $ 4.82 billion, an increase of 4% from $ 4.64 recorded in 2018. True, there has been a slowdown in the global art market. Art, 80% of online art platforms predict an increase in online sales over the next 12 months. 65% said they expected the pandemic to have a permanent and significant impact on the industry.

Christie’s and Sotheby’s: two huge giants

The impact of Covid-19 accelerates online sales: Christie’s, Sotheby’s and Phillips online auctions generated 370 million dollars (329.3 million euros) in the first half of 2020, i.e., 436 % more than same period in 2019. Online sales represented 28.3 % of the total sales of these three players in the first half of 2020, compared to only 1.2 % in 2019.

If the business is doing well in the art market, it is also thanks to two global companies that have a large share of the market. They have been competing for several years and continue to show excessive sales. The more notable of the two, Christie, stood out — nodding in 2017 to a sale that made headlines. The famous “Salvador Mundi”, a painting by Leonardo da Vinci sold for 450.3 million dollars. Due to the scary sale, it became possible to decide between Christie’s and Sotheby’s on the list of prizes. The two companies are the best known in the art market and sell famous works that are sold to billionaires. But Christie’s is leading thanks to its leadership in all areas, it achieved a 53% increase in sales in 2017.

These two large houses have been head-to-head together for several years. They represent the image of the art market and its success. Although art is not appealing on its entrepreneurial side, Christie’s and Sotheby’s are the very proof that the companies exist and stand out in the field. Each year, they achieve amazing numbers and Sotheby’s, the New Yorker is even listed on the stock exchange.

Small businesses: galleries

Art became a saleswoman and some have come to understand this. Everywhere in the world, art galleries are on the rise. They sometimes show famous works that can bring in big money, but also small artists who take their first steps. In the art market, sales are the main activity, but many gallery owners in recent years have refused to see any form of industrialization. According to Georges Philippe Valois, president of the Professional Committee of Art Galleries, some “don’t bother with production or catalog costs and have unbridled speech as selling clothing” (comment collected by Le Monde). Art lovers rightly criticize the owners of this gallery for promoting the artist’s side rather than favoring the work and the emotions it emits. They define to clients what the value of the works will be in ten or twenty years without having to focus on what they represent. The statements include since the democratization of the purchase of the work of art. This market by its lucrative part attracts many people who do not always have a taste for art, but for profit. Of course, it’s more profitable for a gallery to be profitable, but good gallery owners criticize others for focusing only on financial attraction. This situation also stems from the lack of artistic education of some customers. Sometimes they prefer to lay down on deeds than put envy and emotion into it.

A profitable but specific market

Admittedly, the art market is becoming profitable, but due to the rise of giants like Christie’s and Sotheby’s some have seen it as a profitable business without emotional appeal. Christie’s general manager, François Pinault in an interview with the newspaper Les Echos prefers to see here a phenomenon of globalization. Market players need to expand globally, yielding a celebrity phenomenon for art and increased purchases. During the “Salvador Mundi” auction, 450,000 people were present on Facebook live.
Like all sectors, art is becoming more democratic, not necessarily for purses but for minds. As it grew, as it grew in 2017, the number of artists also doubled.

For some it’s just a business, for others it’s a fruitful desire. Although it is fruitful, art remains a particular field that has no similar standards and is specific to other sectors. It is reserved for a certain elite and creating a business in this area can be madness. But not impossible, surrounding yourself with the right experts and a well-stocked address book will help you get started.

Leave a Comment