The Art Market 2020 – conversation with an art dealer

secrets from an art dealer in los angeles
Posted on: February 15, 2020 Posted by: David Aparu Comments: 0

The Art Market 2020 – conversation with an art dealer

The art market nowadays is a very treacherous field to navigate. Trends are showing that currently there are too many artists and too little buyers interested in their work. This is especially true in the art market in 2020.

Why don’t artists like the current art market?

The art industry is currently divided in two distinguishable audiences. One of the audiences contains the rich collectors that influence the prices of artworks. The other half, the bigger half, is populated by emerging artists that are trying to break into the market.

Generally speaking, there seems to be a lack of transparency when talking about artwork prices. This may be due to the fact that the 1% of the art market are controlling the prices. Therefore, it’s natural for the art industry to be an exclusive and elitist economy. In fact there is a concept in crypto currency referred to as the whales of the market. This implies that there are a small number of organized members influencing the trends and the value of the currency.

There are many speakers from the art world that debate this is the truth of the industry. However not many of these people offer a solution.

If we look at the basic formulas found in digital marketing we will observe that networking is vital to sell and convert sales. Unfortunately this is more difficult in the art industry than any other market in the world due to the 1% controlling the way sales flow.

Interview with an Art Dealer in Los Angeles

We recently interviewed Gwendolyn Schaeffer, an art dealer that works for Arabella’s exhibition space in the heart of Los Angeles’ art scene: the art walk.

The first thing I would do in order to sell somebody’s art is make them seen.

Gwendolyn Schaeffer 2020

Gwendolyn accidentally found herself art dealing when she sold an artwork that was being hanged in her workshop at one of her art therapy sessions. The buyer ended up purchasing most of the work done by the artist. She then got talked into becoming an art dealer by the gallery she is currently working for.

One of the topics we discussed is the influence the digital shift has on the art industry. Gwen Schaeffer proposed the idea that social media and the digital platforms available to us are actually going to help the art world. Artists need visibility in order to create interest in their artwork. And not just being seen by their friends and families – but across the world. Gwen goes on to talk about the success she had with hashtags on Instagram.

When looking at her Instagram profile we can see her using a combination of geo-tagging and local hashtags that are specifically targeting people locally interested in art and the famous Los Angeles art walk.

los angeles art walk

The Los Angeles artwalk is a part of the city that thrives and vibrates in the art market. Galleries, events, sponsored programs all gather in the same place, hosting a number of experiences in the heart of Los Angeles. From the sounds of it, Los Angeles seems to be the place to be if you are an emerging and aspiring artist.

Having dealt with mostly vintage art, Gwen describes her target audience being of an older generation. However, she still swears by the power of the digital platforms that can connect the artist with a potential buyer.

How to price your artwork?

Since she deals with mostly vintage artwork, this advice might not apply to everybody. The way that Gwen and the art gallery she works with prices the artwork is mainly based on materials used. If an artwork seems to be able to survive the test of time it will be more expensive than something that will disintegrate easily. She mentions that most of the artwork she sells never goes under 500$. This is due to the buyers wanting to invest in something that will last and be in their homes for a long time.

Do you have any other questions about the art world we should seek answers for? Comment below!

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