Art FairsOpinion

The five stages of reacting to online art

Denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance. The five stages of grief are also very similar to the way traditional businesses react to the internet. Like many other retailers galleries and auction houses argued that their products were different.

This week the Hiscox Online Art Trade Report 2015 estimated that the value of the online art market has risen from $1.57 billion in 2013 to an estimated $2.64 billion in 2014.  Based on these figures, online art buying accounts for almost 5% of the global art market. The Hiscox Report follows on from an Art Fairs Report published by Skate’s saying that falling art fair attendance is not because of fairtigue but because of the rise in online sales.

Skate’s warns about Artsy in particular. “Artsy closed on $25 Series C financing and now poses a real and present danger to the traditional world of offline art fairs, as its digital art fair previews now generate more online traffic than the actual events themselves,” warns its report.

Skate’s says that fairs need to launch their own competing products. The report adds: “It is not yet a disaster, but a loud wake up call.”

Everyone now accepts this.


Image courtesy of Marcie Casas under creative commons license.

Previous post

Robert Wittman: what my FBI career taught me about art crime

Next post

The online art world: an insider’s view

Alasdair Whyte

Alasdair Whyte

Alasdair is a financial journalist writing about art. He has focused on high value asset finance since 1998. As well as Private Art Investor, he also edits Corporate Jet Investor (despite knowing very little about aircraft) and Helicopter Investor (ditto).