Thursday, November 1, 2012

Internet is creating a chaotic ‘glocal’ art world

Each year in the month of October, world’s top art research agency Artprice produces a comprehensive overview of the Contemporary art market across the globe based on key trends and events like the auction results.

According to it, the contemporary art segment is now big business for auction operators; at the end of 2011, young artists (born after 1945) became a more profitable segment than Old Masters, generating 11 percent of total global auction revenue compared with less than 4 percent just ten years earlier. With nearly € 860 m in total global auction revenue from Contemporary art over the latest 12-month period.

After 7 years of rising prices, the market contracted sharply in 2008-09, including on the highly speculative Contemporary segment. This year, it though, demonstrated good resistance in a context of rapidly shrinking financial markets around the world. While the sold rate was a little over 60 percent of the submitted works last year versus nearly 70 percent at the very peak of the market, this figure reflects higher-than-usual buyer selectivity, a perfectly understandable and healthy reaction in a market characterized by solid price stability.

Urban art continues to invade the streets, walls, pavements and furniture of cities around the world from New York to Paris via London, São Paulo, Melbourne, Berlin, Bangkok and Kabul. The vast and complex genealogy of this trend is intertwined with the history of 20th century art, set against a bewildering backdrop of major socio-political and technological upheavals.

Although the contemporary art world seems to be evolving globally, there remains a huge difference between the different local markets, reflecting each individual county’s cultural and economic parameters and the levels of local collector enthusiasm or speculative investment. Also, the dematerialization effected by Internet of our old world and of its economy is creating a digital empire on the cusp of the 21st century in the form of an enormous and chaotic ‘glocal’ (global and local) village.

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