How the Internet Changed the Art World?

Como a Internet Mudou o Mundo da Arte?

The Impact of the Internet on the Art World

The History of Art has shown us that artists have been persistently looking for new unconventional ways and means to express themselves. At the beginning of the 20th century, they began to challenge the traditional perception of art by introducing new elements, such as everyday objects. New computer tools progressed hand in hand with artistic progress. Tools such as social networks and smartphones marked technological development in an impactful way, as they transformed the way we experience and share information and images. The community of art lovers had the opportunity to expand globally through these digital platforms.

If a decade ago art conversations were the province of a small group of people, today we see how people can get information quickly and accessible from Google or social media. Digital platforms managed to democratize access to art, completely revolutionizing this medium. More and more people are buying art online, as in 2015 when auction sales went down, the online market grew by 24% and in 2017 it surpassed $4.2 billion. This digital revolution provided an increase in the frequency of visitors to museums and galleries, due to the availability of information about the exhibitions. Museums such as MoMA, Louvre, Tate, among others, are currently followed by millions of people. There are several exhibitions that become real hits on social media, leading much more public to visit them, such as Yayoi Kusama's mirrored rooms - 160,000 visitors went to see the Hirschhorn Museum exhibition in 2017, twice the average attendance. On the other hand, the vast amount of information available makes it difficult to navigate this complex artistic universe. Many questions are raised: What is the source of reliable information? What is the true value of the artwork? What are the parameters to take into account? Many doubts arise in this new universe of virtual sales, however more and more platforms provide the buyer with necessary information so that there is no doubt and for him to realize that the emotional value between the piece and the spectator is essential.

Yayoi Kusama | P55 Magazine | P55 - The Platform of Art

Yayoi Kusama

How the Pandemic Changed the Way We See Art?

The pandemic forced the art world to surrender to the internet as the only possible exhibition space. Thus, the online art market saw its sales increase exponentially due to the closure of museums, fairs and auctions due to the pandemic. Already in the first half of 2020 Christie's, Sotheby's and Phillips had revenues of US$370 million, five times more than the same period in 2019.

“Social distancing has forced a new form of online engagement which might forever alter the way the art market, and its stakeholders, approach their digital presence.”

Christie's | P55 Magazine | P55 - The Platform of Art


Innovations that emerged during the pandemic

The ability of spaces in the art world to reinvent themselves during the pandemic was almost immediately, with the launch of lectures, interviews and visits to the artists' galleries and studios. In museology there was a new experience that spread like wildfire: virtual visits to large museums and galleries. With this tool, Google provided the opportunity for anyone to be able to visit one of the main art museums in the comfort of their own home. Institutions realized that they could not continue only on traditional channels that they were used to and began to bet on the online world. An example of this is the Serpentine Gallery in London, which started using channels such as Twitch, a live streaming platform for players, to carry out guided tours of its facilities. Subsequently, online fairs arose, such as the one organized by the New Art Dealers Alliance (NADA).

Since the COVID-19 outbreak, the art world has seen an amazing amount of goodwill and support, as well as innovation and collaboration, particularly online. Although the new post-COVID art market will not be online only, the art market has finally embraced the digital transformation and is now in a better position to adapt to change in the long term

In fact, during the pandemic the internet and its platforms constantly helped artists to survive. This has become a great way to trade art, in a simpler and more accessible way. With the development of disconfining it is difficult to predict whether everything will return to the same as before. However, overall 80% of online art sales platforms expect sales growth in the next year. In particular, 65% believe that the crisis will lead to permanent changes, in which online business will be an essential and strong component.

Leon Zernitsky | P55 Magazine | P55 - The Platform of Art

Leon Zernitsky

In reality, this trade has grown more and more, as can be seen from the success of NFT's (Non-fungible tokens). Blockchain technology and NFTs offer artists and creators a unique opportunity to sell directly to the consumer, allowing them to keep most of the profits. Another very attractive feature is the possibility of being able to program to receive a percentage of the profits of their own art, whenever it is sold to a new owner. NFTs are a recent technology and their future is uncertain, however it has had a great impact in art in recent times. To date, the internet has been offering more practical and easier access to the production, viewing and sale of works of art, in addition to expanding the relationship between consumer and seller.

Beeple | P55 Magazine | P55 - The Platform of Art


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