Artprice Report: Contemporary Art Market Boosted by NFTs

NFTs, Certificates of Authenticity associated with something virtual (photo, video, tweet) are revolutionizing the global art market, powered by contemporary art, its “locomotive,” according to Artprice’s annual report published Monday.

Thanks to these NFTs, which ensure the originality and uniqueness of digital works and the massive online migration of contemporary art auctions since the health crisis, these public sales generated a record $2.7 billion during the 2020-2021 fiscal year (+117%).

With 102,000 contemporary works (artists born after 1945, painting, sculpture, installation, drawings, photographs, prints, videos, and now NFT) sold between June 30, 2020 and June 30, 2021, contemporary art now accounts for 23% of the market versus 3% in 2000-2001, says Artprice, the global leader in information on the art market.

With 40% of global sales, China (mainland, Taiwan, Hong Kong) has become the number one center for contemporary art, ahead of the United States (32%) and the United Kingdom (16%). Hong Kong ranks just behind New York as the leading city in the contemporary art market and dethrones London. Paris ranks fifth.

The proportion of women, who represented only 5% of artists in all ratings, and all disciplines combined, rose to 37%; Thierry Ehrmann, president of Artprice, said the number of shoots is nearly as many as men.

A rare social phenomenon.

With digital business in NFT, which accounts for two-thirds of the value of online sales, or 2% of the global art market in 2021, according to the report, “new artists, like Beeple, are emerging starting from nothing (not galleries, no galleries, no auctions). ), and refused to enter the circle of classical art”, analyzes Mr. Ehrman.

Far from the innovative online concept, sometimes decried as a “speculative bubble”, “NFT really allows young artists to make a living especially those in the street artby its ephemeral nature”, which “imposes itself as a very powerful global trend”, he adds, acknowledging a revision of his view of this “rare social phenomenon”.

Of only about 150, known at global auctions in 2000, the St The number of artists increased to 18,000 this year, expert says. Le plus connu, Banksy — qui atteint 123 millions de dollars de volume d’affaires au premier semistre 2021 — entre dans le top 5 des signatures les plus performantes du monde en salles de vente, derrière Picasso, Basquiat, Warhol et Monet, selon a report.

In the contemporary art sector, it ranks second after Basquiat (7% of global sales).

Unknown at auction last year, American Mike Winkelman aka Pebble, 40, is among the most expensive artists of their lives, after David Hockney and Jeff Koons, since the first NFT (Every day: the first 5,000 days), sold for $69.3 million at auction with a starting price of $100.

Previously, Beeple escaped all radar, but had several million subscribers on Instagram to the point of attracting the support of Christie’s auction house. According to the report, it alone represents 3% of the contemporary art market.

“Complexes 2.0”

NFTs attract “new collectors, with an average age of 32, Generation 2.0, who buy artworks at low prices, but as a way of life art, in the face of all that is repeatable, remains the last individual gesture,” according to Mr. Ehrman. In 2020-2021, they generated nine million sales, three times that of photography, which nonetheless regained acclaim, according to the report.

Another striking phenomenon: the massive access to the market by African Americans, British Africans and artists from the African continent, some of which caused an explosion of auctions, such as Amoako Boafo, an African American of Ghana, who sold $1.14 million his network Papa Diop In Hong Kong in December 2020, ten times its low estimate.

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