I hope you don’t mind the informality – not to mention my writing to you via the internet. It seems to be all the rage these days! The online art world has been abuzz since Mr Loeb delivered his latest epistle, dated 2 October, setting out his opinions about Sotheby’s need to “develop a coherent plan for an internet sales strategy” among other things.
Digital technologies allow startup companies to provide services in the online art market that would have been uneconomical or simply impossible in an offline business model.
One example of this type of digital innovation is Vastari.com (@Vastariupdate). Launched online earlier this year, Vastari is seeking to create a marketplace where private collectors and museum exhibition curators around the world connect in order to negotiate exhibition loans. Continue reading
Melanie Gerlis (@mgerlis) of The Art Newspaper reports:
Daniel Loeb, the chief executive and founder of the hedge fund Third Point, has become the largest shareholder in Sotheby’s and made public a stinging letter calling for the resignation of the auction house’s chairman and chief executive, Bill Ruprecht. A core issue raised is Sotheby’s lack of an online sales strategy, particularly in relation to its rival Christie’s.
The UK Public Catalogue Foundation has launched another innovative project to bring Old Master paintings to primary schools around the UK, with a linked BBC website providing teaching materials. The children’s comments on seeing a Claude Monet painting in their schoolroom in this BBC report will make your day!
[See our previous report on their tagging project.]
In a spirited and wide ranging interview with Lori Kozlowski of Forbes Magazine at Social Media Week LA yesterday, 27 September 2013, Rebecca Wilson (Chief Curator) and Margo Spiritus (Chief Creative Officer) clearly articulated the Saatchi Online digital strategy and mission: to apply traditional curation skills, technology, and the Saatchi brand to connect emerging artists with collectors worldwide. In the process they believe they can democratize and make transparent the often “murky” and “intimidating” world of art sales.
In today’s multi-platform digital world, a key strategic item on every art market CEO’s agenda is to establish high quality, high visibility digital services in order to diversify existing sales channels and extend into new markets. And it’s no longer simply a case of knowing your position relative to established competitors. New entrants to the market are capitalizing on the disruption digital is bringing to the art world and are looking to take market share. Continue reading
Another example of technology driving innovation in the art market comes as Phillips partners with Tumblr and curator Lindsay Howard to present Paddles ON!, a “groundbreaking auction and exhibition that brings together artists who are using digital technologies to establish the next generation of contemporary art.”