We’ve been collecting art since we graduated from college. The first piece we bought is hanging at the entrance to our city apartment. It’s not surprising that I’ve invested in the art world as an angel for the past decade.
The art world is a unique business. I’m not sure I can identify another company that is doing the same thing. There was a time when there were some random galleries that represented artists of a particular genre. Metro Pictures, which has been around for 40 years, just announced it’s time to close its doors. You were originally behind the Picture Generation, which flourished between 1974 and 1984.
Metro Pictures won’t be the first to hand over the wand. That summer, Gavin Brown closed and merged with Gladstone. Over the past decade we’ve seen many smaller galleries nearby, as large ones like galers like Hauser-Wurth, Zwerner, Gagosian and Pace became more than just a gallery, but a place for an important exhibition, just like a museum. Rather, they have become institutions.
The chatter about NFTs becomes a cacophony. I firmly believe that everything should be on the blockchain. It gives authenticity to each piece in a safe place. Lately, a variety of NFTs have been sold at extremely high prices. I don’t think they’re worth the value they were paid for. However, the art awards have always been a reflection of the simple economy: supply and demand.
The women behind Metro Pictures see the next generation of art that decided at the age of 75 to play from the sidelines. I applaud her for that. The question is what will happen to the next generation of galleries? The importance of seeing and experiencing work cannot only take place in museums. Are gallery owners more likely to become agents for an artist without having to own a stationary room? Even new interactive shows are coming through cities that can now be reached with technology.
The rise of the art fair went hand in hand as the major galleries began to grow significantly. Will these art exhibitions stay the same after Covid? How will they change? Will auction houses continue to matter? How do you have to change?
Art is also traded as an asset class on sites like Otis. Many people use art as an asset versus something they love and want to support an artist’s growth, like a start-up. Are the top artists happy about their art on these pages? Are you going to participate in NFTs? Not clear.
I’ve seen many changes in the art world over the past decade, including the rise of technology that has forced change. Everyone should have art in their life; I wonder how the business model is changing and how this will affect the most important asset, the artist.
Changing the Art Guard first appeared on Gotham Gal.