In this lockdown period, many art markets have had a damascene moment with online programming.
Galleries and the art fairs they previously attended have had to accelerate their online presence more than any other area of the art business. Demand to create time-based online viewing rooms has skyrocketed, and for some, it’s been a Damascene moment.
According to Sam Orlofsky, director of Gagosian Gallery, giving an interview to an art newspaper says, “At least 75% of the conversations we are having right now are brainstorms about how best to present art online,” as the realities of the coronavirus began to hit home in the Western art world.
From a technological point of view, nothing is dramatically groundbreaking just yet, certainly when compared with some of the platforms in the gaming and retail industries. But some gallerists have proved adept at using existing tools, including Ropac’s series of YouTube films featuring his artists.
For galleries to lower down the market’s food chain, adjusting from real-life to virtual programs may not happen overnight. Lizzie Collins, the founder of London’s Zuleika Gallery, opened her show for Rachel Gracey on 16 March, but it lasted no longer than its opening night because of the UK lockdown.
As the galleries get to grips with the new virtual realities, there is also a growing understanding that not all art is the same. Works on the primary market benefit from different online strategies to their secondary market counterparts, with many shades of grey in between.
Though artists were never in favor of going online thinking that it would distract them are now working from home through online programming and give their full attention.