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How the art market should look like?

di Stefano Monti

How the art market should look like?

COVID-19 affected numerous dimensions of our lives, and, among them, it affected the cultural and art market too. In every place of our planet brilliant minds are considering the proper reactions to the pandemic-crisis under every aspect of our economic and social systems. Although, we also need to reflect on the cultural market, including the art market, and the way we attend events, or we visit monuments, and we appreciate artworks and exhibitions. COVID-19 generated and still generates both direct and indirect impact on these markets, but it has also underlined some “market fragilities” that we should acknowledge: the opaqueness, for example, is a structural characteristic of the art market, fully analyzed by many authors, as well as the difficulties of cultural market in adopting the innovations coming from the technology sector are fully acknowledged. COVID-19, it is worth noting, imposed in this sense a new pace: galleries, museums, and even hyper-institutionalized organizations adopted new ways to communicate with their audience and to disseminate their contents. We should treasure this new approach and maintain this attitude even when the alarm will be switched off. This number of Tafter Journal investigates how the cultural and, more precisely, the art market could be after the pandemic. The contribution of Colangelo deepens the results of a new wage of “must-be-online” among cultural players, by interviewing the CEO of Kunstamatrix, a company who provide users with 3d online exhibition spaces, and that knew an important growth during the lockdown period, being used by different kind of organizations, such as museums, galleries, and even art fairs. The art fairs market is the very focus of the article written by Medaglini, looking at a new possible pricing model for this market. The number of new art fairs grew consistently during the last decade, and now the market is living a new phase of its life-cycle and it is still looking for market equilibrium, with the competition generating both a critical mass related positive effect and a negative effect, related to the competition exacerbation.

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Gestire cultura

Price-fixing models for art fairs: reflections on sustainability.

di Gabriele Medaglini

The contribution highlights the main insights of my M.Sc thesis’ research conducted in 2019. It focuses on the widely debated art market issue of the ever more unsustainable costs for the small-medium sized galleries to attend art fairs. Even though their centrality for the galleries’ growth and market affirmation, something has started to change. In fact, the involved actors have denounced an art fairs’ scenario whose participation costs increased at the point for which it became almost impossible to obtain valuable economic results. The situation is exacerbated by the existing booths’ purchasing system. According to this and to the standard art fair’s format with different sections where the galleries are included, the actors in the same section spend the same amount per square meters/feet not considering their effective heterogeneity. Then, they are forced to sustain costs not proportionated to their real economic capacities. Despite the adoption of some progressive measures, the art fairs still seem unable to develop a system reflecting the participants’ diversity. Thus, the research aims to dwell on the art fair business model with a focus on the booths’ purchasing system, hypothesizing the introduction of a pure progressive mechanism for which each one would pay according to what it has. The study has been conducted relying on a review of existing literature about the business model and its application in the Creative and Cultural Sector (CCS). Then, it has been done interviews to 3 selected art fairs’ directors, aimed at reconstructing the art fair business model, and to 4 contemporary art gallerists, evaluating the proposal and discussing the art fairs’ functioning. The directors’ interviews have been done submitting the questions via mail, while the gallerists have been met personally. The study hopes to lay the foundations for more structured contributions in this field and to stimulate the debate on the way to do business in the art fairs’ environment.

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Tecno-scenari

Kunstmatrix: online platforms to support the art market

di Marta Colangelo

What are the real ef fects of this global crisis on art galleries and all of the art market players today? Is it prolonging their online activity by the use of platform and digital tools? What we were expecting was perhaps a normal resumption of offline activity and a slow abandonment of digital, but it’s not like that. Art companies that once were in competition with each other are beginning to create new f orms of collaboration. Digital platf orms are not seen as an enemy of the offline anymore. Indeed, many protagonists of the art industry are using them as engine tools to promote their offline activity and as a new path to have trasparency, amplify the knowledge of art and get new targets. This is confirmed by the Art Market Reports 2020 highlighting how challenges in the art market are often supported by technology. It’s not a coincidence that technology is always been a very versatile medium with a f luid and creative component that is able to raise awareness and amplify the perception of users. Online platforms are increasingly being used by artists, art galleries and auction houses as stagecraft solutions to create virtual exhibitions of their artworks. Kunstmatrix it’s a clear example of this digitalisation process. Kunstmatrix is an online platform, founded in Berlin in 2010 by the architect Crhistoph Lauterbach, that builds connections and publishes works of art in order to create 3d exhibition spaces to impress art lovers and collectors. It has grown exponentially during the lockdown and its targets have diversified and amplified: day by day, it increases its collaboration with artists, art galleries, art fair to support their activity. Even more, the company starts working with profiles and figures that it didn’t expect to reach, such as embassies, universities and schools. We decide to interview Christoph Lauterbach, co-founder and Ceo of Kunstmatrix, in order to know more about its current online dynamics and how it approaches with the art leaders.

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