In these uncertain times, although art exhibitions and other art-related activities are affected, there is some traction in terms of sales; the majority of which takes place online through artist and gallery websites and social media accounts.
It seems that the collector’s profile has undergone a change, where now it is the aspiring and well-traveled young buyer in their early twenties and thirties who collects art for multiple reasons. Among them, many are first-time buyers, who were introduced to art through their artist friends. Most of them invest in art created by well-known artists within their social circle, where the main driving force has been to offer support in these difficult economic times. That said, the younger population is also very aware of art as an asset class and doesn’t hesitate to view it as a financial investment.
Another factor contributing to art sales is the fact that during this period the possibilities for travel and other sources of recreation are limited, making income available to a wide category of people with recent jobs. and decent wages more readily available. Millennials, savvy of social media, online research and viewing rooms, and a stronger approach to risk-taking, are comfortable with buying art as an investment and also for their home. The young collector is more open to new materials and mediums, as well as to works of art created to support social causes or by artists with different abilities or representing specific causes.
Digital art time
Digital art and DTV are areas that have seen a lot of activity around them – both in terms of art production and sales, again, mainly by young artists and collectors. and emerging. This is not surprising considering that digital art and NFTs require software knowledge, some amount of Photoshop or programming skills, familiarity with the internet and technology, skills that come easily to them. However, this is a new and evolving field, and some analysts and collectors are hesitant to assess how this will play out in the long term.
In contrast, artists who were in high demand before the pandemic continued to do well. Many collectors find solace in the names of familiar artists and paintings they have purchased before. Overall, however, spending amounts are concentrated towards the lower end of the spectrum, particularly in the primary market. Sales volume remains low compared to the days before Covid as sales are now emerging from a smaller group of artists.
Another interesting trend is that independent wealth managers and those in private banking are exploring interactions with art consultants to present art to their high net worth clients as an investment option with the goal of diversifying their portfolio. Whether or not this will translate into financial activity in the art market remains to be seen.
The author is an art consultant, curator and writer based in Bangalore. She blogs at Art Scene India and can be contacted at [email protected]
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