Inflation has yet to dampen the art market

More than half of collectors said inflation hadn’t changed their collecting behaviors at all, according to a report by Artsy.


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Art collectors have yet to change their buying habits despite high inflation, which is affecting many other industries, according to a report released Thursday by Artsy, a leader in the online art market.

More than half of those surveyed said inflation hadn’t changed their collecting behaviors at all, including nearly 60% of collectors with incomes between $250,000 and $500,000. For those with incomes over $500,000, nearly three in four said inflation had not changed their spending on art, according to Artsy’s Art Collector Insights report.

The report is based on a survey of over 1,000 collectors, subscribers and users from June to July.

“The art market has always been a relatively large investment in times of economic turmoil, and the high end of the art market in particular has tended to be relatively insulated during times of economic distress,” says Dustyn Kim. , revenue director at Artsy.

Additionally, people who have longer investment horizons and a deep passion for the artwork they collect see periods of high inflation or recession as an excellent opportunity to invest, she adds. .

“As a bonus, one of the beautiful things about art is that you can actually hang it on your wall, hold it, and enjoy it for years to come,” Kim says. “If you later determine that you want to sell, it tends to appreciate during this period.”

After the 2008 financial crisis, it took three years for the art auction market to recover, while the stock market, as measured by the S&P 500, only returned to pre-recession levels in 2013, says Kim.

The report also revealed that the majority of collectors still have a preference for the convenience of discovering and buying art online, even though the real art world is back in full swing, with art fairs in store. art and galleries reopening at full capacity.

Overall, 76% of collectors said they purchased art online in the past 12 months. For “next generation” collectors, those who started collecting in the past four years and spent at least $5,000 on art in one of those years, 90% bought online art, according to the report.

“It just reinforces something that I often say, which is that collectors are increasingly looking at offline and online, or in person and online, as a singular experience,” Kim says.

Many people prefer to do their basic research online, understand an artist’s career, get an idea of ​​that artist’s price and where they came from. Then they see the artist’s work in person at a gallery or fair or in the artist’s studio. Often they will come back and complete the purchase online.

While online art buying behaviors have been boosted by the Covid pandemic, “what we’re seeing at this point is that these online behaviors are very entrenched for both existing collectors and in especially for new collectors as well,” says Kim.

“It’s just how people have come to discover and shop in many other luxury markets and the art world is finally catching up.”

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