The Evolution of the Art Market
For hundreds of years, art fairs and art galleries were the primary places to purchase original art.
Art galleries have had the responsibility of finding artists with great creative ability, promoting their work, and supporting the artists. They have traditionally been highly expensive and prestigious venues, where only art collectors with deep pockets willing to spend a fortune were entertained.
Art fairs are places where many artists, galleries, art lovers, and art collectors have come together to enjoy and purchase art. To participate in mega fairs, such as Art Basel in Miami Beach and the Armory Show in New York, galleries have had to pay huge amounts to reserve a booth, and art lovers have had to buy tickets to gain access. Comparatively smaller art fairs, such as “LeMoyne’s Chains of Park” in Tallahassee, are more artist friendly and have not required entrance tickets.
As awareness of art has spread, more people beyond wealthy collectors have developed an appreciation for hanging original works of art in their home. As a result of online shopping becoming more accepted and a long confinement indoors, more people have been browsing and purchasing artwork online.
Some businesses have developed innovative ways to sell art remotely. A few examples include gallery partnerships with sites like Artnet and Artsy, which agree to showcase works of art in exchange for monthly membership fees and/or commission on sales. Singulart, an online gallery, represents individual artists and takes commissions.
Prestigious galleries, such as David Zwirner, have also come up with unique online initiatives. David Zwirner selects 100 works of art, chosen from galleries around the world, and introduces them to their private collectors. They take a small percentage of the sale price, but only when the piece is sold.
Virtual galleries have helped new and mature collectors connect to art and artists remotely and further normalized the online purchase of art. This change has enabled galleries to feature artists from distant places without the burden of transporting the delicate artwork for a physical show. Collectors, meanwhile, have gained access to a broader range of collections. From well-curated online galleries, they are now able to build a museum-quality collection with a few clicks of a mouse.
Venvi Art Gallery, too, has expanded to online shows and begun to feature more artists from New York, Berkeley, and other parts of Florida without having to ship the artwork to the physical venue. From the time I opened the doors of Venvi to the age of online viewing and purchasing, I have seen people from all different age groups, social statuses, and geographical locations purchase art. Both mature collectors as well as millennials have browsed and bought art from the physical gallery as well as online. As the artsy website states, “91 percent of the luxury buyers do not buy art.” As art has become more accessible to the general public, art collecting has grown increasingly more democratic.
Brinda Pamulapati, owner/managing director, of Venvi Art Gallery in Tallahassee, can be reached at (850) 322-0965 or visit www.VenviArtGallery.com