Suddenly we all hear from Tedros Adhanom, General Director of the World Health Organization:
“Good afternoon. In the past two weeks, the number of cases of COVID-19 outside China has increased 13-fold, and the number of affected countries has tripled. […] We have therefore made the assessment that COVID-19 can be characterized as a pandemic”. (World Health Organization, 2020).
And the entire world changed.
By restricting the use of public space, physical contact, and crowds of people for a long time, the social structure bases on which the development of our economy was founded were removed. This is why we should attempt to follow the WHO recommendation in order to safeguard our lives: INNOVATE AND LEARN.
The digital age, that we still believed to be part of a science fiction films, was in our hands challenging every day different markets and culture has not been an exception. This sphere has timidly introduced digital platforms without the total confidence of the public; however, now a day’s people have been forced, overnight, to digitize. And the whole world had no choice, but to welcome it with open arms.
According to Oppenheimer (2018), 47% of our work will be robotic in the next 10 or 15 years; nevertheless, as he expressed to a national media in June of this year, he fell short, because it will not happen in 15 years, it is actually happening today (Noticias Caracol, 2020).
Consequently, the Art Market is evolving towards a mechanization of its dynamics and it is totally valid. According to ArtPrice.com (2020) “it is time to break with old customs and innovate”, this is how the interruption of the calendar of world art markets has prompted Sotheby’s to adapt to a new sales format, organizing a “live Evening Sale open to telephone, online, in the room, and in advance bidding”.
But not only Sotheby’s has innovated its marketing strategy, as Marc Spiegler (2020) states, Art Basel Hong Kong was the first fair canceled due to the impacts of the pandemic, but fortunately they had been working on a new digital platform.
As I had already said in a previous podcast, World War II showed the beginning of the art market as we knew it until the beginning of 2020; now it is the COVID-19 that determines the starting point for a new development of it, through the digital platform.
Although this market was already taking small steps to digitize its sales, many of us were hesitant to admit that a Rembrandt could be sold online, or we thought that it could be a distant option. However, life has demonstrated us that the digital age has imposed itself in all sectors and whether we admit it or not, platforms such as Art-Market Insight, Crónica, Soatchi and Saachi, Smells like Art Virtual Gallery, Art Expone, Among others, are not only for emerging artists, they are now in charge of setting new trends in the industry.
EDITION AND TRANSLATION:
Camila Llano and Laura Llano.
Alocución de apertura del Director General de la OMS en la rueda de prensa sobre la COVID-19 celebrada el 11 de marzo de 2020. (2020). Recuperado 8 de agosto de 2020, de Organización Mundial de la Salud website: https://www.who.int/es/dg/speeches/detail/who-director-general-s-opening-remarks-at-the-media-briefing-on-covid-19—11-march-2020
Oppenheimer, A., (2018). ¡Sálvese quien pueda!. Debate.
Noticias Caracol. (20 de junio de 2020). Los poderosos del futuro serán los más creativos y motivados: Andrés Oppenheimer. https://noticias.caracoltv.com/informes-especiales/los-poderosos-del-futuro-seran-los-mas-creativos-y-motivados-andres-oppenheimer
An exceptional Rembrandt expected to fetch $20 million. (2020). Artprice.com. Recuperado de: https://es.artprice.com/artmarketinsight/an-exceptional-rembrandt-expected-to-fetch-20-million
Spiegler, M. (2020). Art Basel’s Marc Spiegler: ‘The future of the art world is not digital. Recuperado de: https://www.ft.com/content/7e4503e8-aa55-11ea-a766-7c300513fe47