Artistic investments are nothing new. Investments in digital art, however, are a bit newer – especially non-fungible tokens, unique crypto assets that identify a specific digital entity. They are the latest craze to hit the market, with serious hands trading money in an effort to get their hands on these tokens. How then should an art investment company react?
To that end, we speak to the Managing Director of Art Works, Troy Sadler. Art Works started in 2011 as an art gallery with an investment advisory service, although it has since expanded its offering. In the digital world, an online gallery presents and is democratized with a slightly more accessible art. In the physical, they have a new business-to-business offer: bespoke and tailor-made works and furniture for commercial projects of any size (think hotels, offices, etc.).
Sadler’s has spent much of the past two decades in Australia and Hong Kong at leading art investment firms, with an extensive network in the art industry and in-depth knowledge of the Asian art market. . We tell him about NFTs, the democratization of art, and how investment appetites have evolved along with the pandemic.
How do you think the art investment landscape has changed since Covid-19?
We have seen strong sales over the past 12 months, similar to what we saw after the global financial crisis in 2008/2009, where there was a real shift in investor strategies towards more tangible assets, shelters for their money. More and more people are looking to diversify their investment portfolio with art (which is great for us!). So, despite the economic impact of Covid-19, the art investment landscape has remained relatively resilient.
What about digital art?
Digital art is a real buzzword right now and there is definitely an appetite for it. We’ve seen a lot of hype around NFT art recently and it will be interesting to see if and how they transform transactions for the art world. From an investment perspective, I definitely think digital art will attract its own group of investors. New collectors who are very tech-oriented or in the cryptocurrency realm and are starting to see art as an investment because they now see it from a different perspective – whether it’s authenticity , appreciation value or resonant content. Overall, it has garnered renewed attention and enthusiasm in the art market, which can only be positive !.
Tell us more about NFT art – is Art Works going to get its hands in the NFT cake?
We love art in all its forms and are very open-minded. We see a lot of positives around NFT art, such as notoriety and potential royalties for artists, but it remains to be seen whether this is a bubble or not. Staying informed about the art world and changes in consumer preferences is essential for us, so we are exploring how this can benefit our clients and whether the market will continue to grow.
On the other end of the spectrum, how is Art Works online gallery expanding the digital art market?
Without physical space constraints, the Art Works online gallery expands the art experience for the consumer with content we can organize and share. It allows consumers to access artists from around the world and experience their work more intimately. We were able to bring a more global perspective to the art and the artists we present. For example, we now have artists from Africa in Peru, Belgium and New York. And while we have examples of artists’ pieces in our gallery, an online format allows for a more in-depth look at their extensive collection, coupled with real-time updates on the projects they’re working on, shows at. come or the highlights of their careers, so that consumers can truly be immersed in the world of artists.
Does this democratization also apply to artistic investors?
Traditionally, art was very reserved for the rich. The works of art that you would see at auction were generally classical masters and high end works of art. However, over the past 20 years, we have witnessed an explosion of growth in the contemporary art market, which has driven the demand for high quality and accessible art in this space. Where there were hardly any contemporary artists auctioned off 20 years ago, we are now looking at billions of dollars sold for contemporary pieces. As more and more people are educated about the safety of investing in art, there is increasing sophistication in the appreciation of all forms. We have also seen strong growth in the contemporary auction market, as evidenced by the Contemporary Art Index which rose 48% last year. The rise in value of contemporary art has in turn stimulated global demand and allowed us to invest more in contemporary artists. They are artists still alive and in the middle of their career, which makes their art more financially accessible; this allowed contemporary art to be an investment as opposed to a much smaller, elite-only market.
Finally, discover Art Works Design.
For the design side of our business, we like to work with interior designers to first get a feel for the aesthetic they are trying to create before finding any artwork that we think would enhance the look. general appearance they are looking for. It’s basically about the aesthetics, how the room works with the other design elements in the space, how it inspires a certain mood in people when they walk into the room.
And have you seen an increase in the number of people who wanted to inspire a different mood in their homes during the pandemic?
We found that a lot of people spent more time at home (during Covid-19) and wanted to freshen up their home and make it a safe and comfortable space. The number of people who love art and always ask questions about different artists has increased tremendously since Covid-19. With the range of art that we have available in the online gallery, we could easily cater for different tastes and budgets.