Friday, July 15, 2011

A rising interest in Web based art buying

Here are a few instance, suggesting the growing interest in Web based art buying:
  • The VIP Art Fair, a weeklong online event that mimicked the mechanics of a traditional art fair with virtual booths, attracted a large international group of blue-chip galleries last January and, despite some well-publicized technical glitches, was seen as a success by dealers and collectors.

  •, a venture that will use Pandora-like technology to help art buyers find pieces and the galleries selling them, has already lined up heavyweight supporters like the dealer Larry Gagosian and Jack Dorsey, a founder of Twitter. And most major auction houses also now allow online bidding for sales happening in the physical world.

  • The average price of an artwork won through an Artnet auction is about $6,800 now, up from $5,600 last year, which wouldn’t come close to paying the commission on most high-end auction sales. But Artnet is one of many companies that believe the time might finally be right for a sizable portion of the art market to begin migrating online, the way sales for specialized items like rare books and antiques already have.
Main reason for starting to buy through online auctions (one recent acquisition was a small Elaine de Kooning work on paper) for some has been the prices. An online art buyer explains: “My sense is that a lot of the sellers aren’t taking a haircut by having to go through galleries, and so those savings are coming to me.”

Artnet chief executive, Hans Mr. Neuendorf, said that while they operated in a different world from Sotheby’s and Christie’s, he believed that it had only begun to mine a huge swath of the secondary art market that will move onto the Web. “I think they’re very happy doing what they’re doing; we’re not even on their radar,” he said of the major auction houses. “And that’s good,” he added: “because it gives us time to catch up…”

(Information courtesy: 'A Resurgence in Art Buying Over the Web', Randy Kennedy of The New York Times)

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