The art industry is at a major crossroads, and has developed rapidly over the last decade or so. Never before have more people been engaged with art. Thanks to the rise of digital channels and social media, giving artists more accessibility has increased the chance of potential sales. Yet, the market has largely been saturated over the past decade, and the number of artworks trading hands has decreased.
As value has concentrated at the top of the market and costs have risen, galleries & auction houses are looking for new ways for their businesses to survive and thrive, to support artists, and to help connect collectors with artworks they love. Artgence was a casual experiment selling art to collectors by visiting galleries across Paris and creating partnerships with galleries and art dealers.
A majority of collectors (57%) reported buying 1–2 artworks per year. However, survey-wide, collectors reported purchasing an average of 8 artworks annually. By comparison, American collectors surveyed by Arts Economics and UBS in 2017 averaged 2 artworks per year for those with less than $5 million in assets, and 4 artworks per year for those with assets in excess of $5 million. Most survey respondents were relatively new to the art market. Less than 50% of survey respondents have been collecting for 10 years or more, and 18% of current buyers said they have been collecting for 2 years or less. Thirty-two percent of respondents who actively collect online were under 35 years old—a key demographic for the art market, which currently needs to attract new buyers to support its artists, galleries, and auction houses.