[Claire] At each level: galleries, auctions, showrooms. All the players have moved to digital! The sector of art being pre-COVID-19 was elitist and exclusive, people were staring at you if you were not an art collector entering an art gallery. Art collectors, galleries’ owners and artists knew each other and formed a close circle. Before the pandemic, it was not easy for any person simply interested in art to buy art. With the pandemic, the sector had to move to digital as fairs were cancelled, auctions stopped and galleries closed.
A move which was already starting pre-COVID-19 of a new generation of art collectors and potential buyers accessing this narrow sphere accelerated. Arteia aims to solve the problems of all the art ecosystem with an ultimate target to create a marketplace gathering art collectors, artists and professionals and make the art sector more open. It is bringing the building blocks to create a successful marketplace by providing services to:
Many startups in the art sector raised funds before the pandemic as it was one of the last sectors which had still to make its digital transformation and investors didn’t want to miss it. A good example is Singulart, which is an online art gallery which raised €10M during the pandemic.
This is a really good question and indeed we see a radical change in terms of discovering and accessing art. Digitalisation and social media help spot new artists and connect art collectors and artists. It’s going to be interesting to see how this goes post-COVID-19 but we already see changes thanks to COVID-19 which accelerated the process and business models are going to be disrupted worldwide. We have seen museum, galleries, auctions going online at a very rapid pace.
Art conventions like Art Basel were cancelled so collectors visited online showrooms and realised it’s been made possible to see and buy artworks online. Things will probably not change rapidly for expensive artworks and collectors will continue to want to see the artwork before buying it, especially if it’s a €20M Picasso! So buying online would, in the short term, be dedicated to less expensive artworks and less known artists. It will also reduce the fees that could amount up to 45% of the transaction.
Overall, COVID-19 helped to digitalise the art sector as everything had to move online. In addition, the change in regulation will make this sector much more open and engaging. Money laundering was a big issue in the art ecosystem and had an impact on the prices but since the beginning of the year, a new rule against money laundering in the EU (5th Anti-Money laundering Directive) in the art space has been enforced.
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