Digital sales are saving the art market from the loss due to the Corona pandemic


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                The market for artworks that has prompted the Covid-19 pandemic to shift on a large scale to digital sales has shown a great ability to absorb the consequences of the health crisis, as its loss was limited to only 21 percent of the volume of revenues, while this situation allowed it to discover new customers and prospects that were not in Account, according to a recent report revealed.

                                    <p>The report is published annually by the information company Art Price, the leader in the art market, and covers the results of "fine art" in paintings, sculptures, drawings, photographs, prints, videos, fixtures and textiles, excluding furniture, cars, etc.

And it does the cascading closing measures, within a year, remote auctions became the new norm, and saw sales entirely online, without the need for auctioneers.

Art Price President Thierry Ehrman noted that “the art market has flourished through digital technology that has entered its entire world, which has allowed to limit the decline in sales volumes,” describing this as a “revolution”.

“It’s a change that has exceeded expectations despite the reluctance of some auction houses,” Ehrman told AFP.

He believed that the success of virtual auctions in reducing losses is due to the fact that “there is a social development, as Internet auctions are attracting new customers between the ages of 30 and 40 years that the old system was not available to them. Its size is 16 percent of the market). He described this category of artistic works as “constituting a lever today,” considering that “displaying three-dimensional works on the Internet is attractive.”

There was also a development at the geographical level as well, as “there are no longer any time zones for the request. For example, it is now possible for a Belgian or Swedish house to discover new areas, as you may find customers in Singapore and Indonesia, for example.”

He pointed out that “this market was 30 years late, and in one year it reached a new equilibrium, which was the most optimistic expectation that it is likely to be reached in 2025.”

The increase in the number of participants in online auctions leads to “more competition”. The report emphasized that a very positive sales rate (76 percent) “is based on this renewed audience, in addition to the need to carefully estimate prices in order to be attractive.”

Chinese performance

China’s performance was remarkable as it regained first place in the world after four years in which the United States overtook it, and it acquired 39 percent of the “fine arts” market, compared to 27 percent for the United States, where the outbreak of the epidemic had a strong impact on the market. As for Britain, its market size is 15 percent.

A study published by “Art Price” in the fall showed that the Chinese were 395 (versus 165 Americans) among the “Top Thousand” artists whose works are considered the most attractive.

“It has created an internal market for itself, with export restrictions, and has seen the birth of new auction houses,” said Thierry Ehrman. After the first half of the year was affected by the quarantine measures, digital sales rebounded strongly.

Although China regained control of Hong Kong, the latter maintained its ranking. And the US house “Sotheby’s” a quarter of its sales there.

In Europe, France declined for several years, with its sales reaching $ 578 million, compared to $ 827 million in 2019, which is 31 percent less. It also recorded a decline of 30 percent in Britain and 32 percent in Italy.

Germany, which was the least affected by the epidemic until the fall, achieved an increase of 11%.

No auction sales in 2020 reached the $ 100 million ceiling, as the best price was $ 84.5 million for a Baiken trilogy (“Sotheby’s”). A record number of works by street artist Banksy (about 900) have been sold.

There was a strong demand for contemporary pictorial painting, especially that related to Africa, and one of the most prominent works in this field is that of the young Ghanaian painter Amoako Boafu.



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