Wednesday, July 6, 2022

The Development Of The Art Market

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There is nothing more touching and inspirational than visiting an online art gallery. As you browse through the various works of art you start to envision what the particular artist had in mind, why he or she decided to create this piece, and how its beauty relates to you as you immerse yourself in its hidden message. Just last year, there was a considerable increase of visitors to art fairs, but the global art market has developed in an unprecedented way especially thanks to online art dealing. Nowadays, the love and appreciation for art have been taken to a whole new level thanks to the availability of art pieces on websites. With an online art gallery, you can get to appreciate pieces of art for sale from all over the world. Paintings on sale online have reached an all-time high, as it is more convenient to go over so many different pieces of art from hundreds of artists located around the globe.

An art market overview for 2016

According to the TEFAF Art Market report 2016, total sales in the world art market reached a staggering $45 billion dollars last year. This figure also includes online art sales, which have increased considerably too. In fact, art collectors and investors are feeling more at ease in buying pieces of art from online art galleries. The art industry appears to have reached a level whereby online sales constitute an integral part of art sales. More art dealers are gaining from this, as buyers are able to gain access to information, and particularly check prices. The greater access to information and variety of art pieces, coupled up with the price transparency, is leading to more people being interested in pieces of art for sale online.

Interestingly enough, the TEFAF Art Market 2016 reports state that the art dealers market share has not only increased, but even surpassed the auction sales market, especially in Europe. Statistics have also shown clearly that the art market is robust and very stable. This resulted from the fact that dealers’ total revenue increased by 20%-25% in 2016. Another reason to this larger and more optimistic art market is derived from the fact that auction houses are actually increasing their privately brokered sales when compared to their auction sales. The estimated global figure attributed to these sales is over $2 billion. In the US only, auction sales decreased by 41% in fact. Thus, many high-end pieces of art are in fact selling privately, often online.

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Art for sale online – how is it changing it all?

The fact that more and more people are buying art is derived from the convenience that the internet is offering in this field. The internet has opened up a whole new era to art sales. The traditional way art sales was carried out has now been taken to a whole new level thanks to the internet. Many more people are now discovering pieces of art from all over the world through online art galleries. There has been a considerable increase in knowledge about the world of art, including getting a broader idea of what different artists are offering, and gaining more access to their works of art online. Consequently, nowadays art collectors are not only limiting themselves to the type of art that they love, but they are also feeling more confident in venturing into different types of art investments, including those from emerging markets. In fact many art investors are more willing to acquire a work of art from an emerging artist, as they are aware that in time this may increase in value. This has been rendered much easier as one can easily carry out research online by browsing through online art galleries from all over the world. This also affects positively new artists who are managing to showcase their work to a wider audience, and thus they are able to establish themselves more easily nowadays.

Trends that are affecting the online art market

There are several trends which are leading to a growth in the online art market. Primarily, the existing art collectors are feeling the urge of buying art online as it is much more convenient and comprehensive. This has led to a wider acceptance of online art markets, in relation to the traditional galleries.

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Secondly, there is an undeniable feeling of satisfaction when buying art online. The ease with which one can access information and prices, has led to repeat purchases. This trend is definitely leading to the growth of the online art market. According to research, 48% of art buyers who buy art online are willing or planning to purchase again within the next year. This demonstrates that art buyers are experiencing a positive online buying experience as otherwise they would not have been willing to engage in such a purchase again.

Statistics also show that art buyers are spending more online than they did previously. 42% of art galleries are reporting that they have noticed an increased willingness among their clients to buy pieces of art which are expensive.

The surge of new artists who are using the internet to present their works of art, has also led to the online art market growth phenomenon.

What type of art is bought online?

There are various types of art that are bought online. Apart from painting, online art buyers are also investing in drawings, illustrations, prints, particularly limited edition photographic prints, paintings or drawings. There are also those who invest in sculptures.

How can you buy art online?

Most people who buy art online purchase art from online galleries and art fairs. In fact more than a third of those questioned in the Art Sales Survey 2017 confirmed this. Most people (45%) found the artwork that they purchased online from search engines, and 34% through social media platforms. The convenience of buying art online is so evident, that 52% of those interviewed in this survey would even be willing to effect their art purchases through their smartphones!

 Why should you buy art online?

Online art galleries have gained popularity and a great deal of traffic over the past few years. There has been a considerable increase in art buyers who have decided to buy online, and this has resulted from a number of factors.

New art collectors have started to enter the market purely thanks to online art galleries, who are making it more convenient and increasingly more invigorating to engage in art collecting and investing. Online art galleries do not invest in a brick and mortar business, but they operate online. So they are better able to offer buyers an unrestricted market and a more transparent setting. For those who have never bought art, online art galleries are opening up this opportunity in a unique manner. Complete information, transparent prices, and the possibility of comparing and contrasting works of art in an unperturbed manner, have all contributed to more people feeling willing to invest in art. Online art buyers have more confidence in their purchases. The internet, including social media platforms, have empowered buyers and been a game changer in the art market. No wonder that 19% of new art buyers aged between 18 and 35 years have made their first ever art purchase online.


Considering all this, there is no denying that the future of art dealing is deeply related to online art sales. Regardless of political and economic changes, online art sales have, and are, still on the increase. Online art galleries are offering a great opportunity for artists and art buyers alike, and for those who have never considered investing in art we believe that now is the time!


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Sara Revonia
Sara Revonia
Entrepreneur, Speaker, Author, and Mom. Sara Revonia’s articles are about business, life, and Entrepreneurship.
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