Artists and art collectors worldwide have been fast in adapting to the many challenges the Covid-19 pandemic has brought the world of art. New breed art collectors have proven that being physically unavailable to view an artwork cannot prevent them from bidding on one. Sotheby’s even reported highest online auction despite the pandemic.
Last June 30, 2019, Sotheby’s Billault was surprised to saw a record-breaking bid of whopping $73 million dollars for a Francis Bacon work of art. Aeschylus’s Oresteia from Greece inspired the masterpiece. The piece was finally sold to a phone bidder from China to the tune of $84.6 million dollars.
Meanwhile, Joan Mitchell’s Garden Party was sold for $7 million, and it was surpassed by another bid for 15 million dollars for Jean-Michel Basquiat’s Untitled Head. The bid was, in fact, ten times its previous record paid that was paid on an online auction on the web.
Online Art Sales
Online art sales have been pegged at 10% per cent of the overall art market. The Art Basel and UBS survey this September 2020 revealed 37% per cent of overall sales in the first half of the year were all made on the web.
The Art Basel or UBS survey of high net worth collectors of art discovered that a new breed of younger art collectors was very comfortable buying art pieces online. Almost a fifth or 17% per cent of the respondents (all millennial) have claimed to have spent over one million dollars on art this year. Sotheby’s confirmed this by stating that almost one-third of its online buyers are under forty (40) years old this 2020.
UBS Europe CEO Christl Novakovic mentioned that the move online had spawned a new breed of young, hungry, and affluent art collectors, who value price transparency and their anonymity online. He further said that strengthening this online community worldwide can be a significant move that will prove beneficial to the health of the art market in the years to come.
Know and Assess What You Are Buying
Majority of art auction houses and galleries are now offering every single art form for better reach. This way, one can carefully determine and inspect every artwork very closely. As a caveat though, we urge you always to do your homework especially that the world of art remains unregulated as of this writing.
Art buyers and collectors must consider the artwork’s condition, uniqueness, authenticity, and what-not. The price one is buying art for, its source, have a tremendous impact on whether one must try to see the art piece up close or virtually.
With the threat of Covid-19 still lurking, still, no vaccine on sight, more and more lockdowns getting extended in various countries worldwide, online art auctions will continue to take center stage in the realm of art and in the many years to come. Choose your art piece wisely and always stay safe.
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