Steve Murphy is pretty perky in this video no doubt anticipating strong sales and enjoying his position at the top of the pile but he makes a good case for why works of art are gaining in value and how that relates to digital imagery and connectivity:
“The ubiquity of fantastic images and the idea that you can sit anywhere in the world and pick up your iPhone and see the picture that is mentioned has increased the value of the original object, because there is only one of them,” he said. “To own and live with a masterpiece has become an even more valuable experience.”
Meanwhile, the firm put out this press release:
“The global audience for art is increasing, museum attendance has increased again and the art market is continuing to grow. This is in part driven by digital accessibility of art and imagery”, Steven Murphy commented. “Over the next two weeks, Christie’s hosts key sales in the Americas and we will be offering masterpieces such as Monet’s Nymphéas and Bacon’s Three Studies of John Edward alongside online-only sales of Picasso Ceramics and works by Alexander Calder. We want to invite more people to join in and participate in collecting. Not long ago, our New York sales catalogue would be viewed by a few thousand catalogue subscribers four weeks before the sale –– now more than a million visitors view the works online.This online accessibility combined with ever increasing visitor numbers to our public exhibitions has shifted the dynamic.This has also fundamentally impacted the value of the original object itself, as the experience of standing in front of the picture and owning it has become even more powerful.”
In data released today, Christie’s confirms that 48% of all client registrations are now facilitated digitally. In 2013, 45% of buyers in online-only sales were new to Christie’s, with many sales seeing over 50% new client activity. Findings from online-only sales reveal that one in five buyers is under the age of 45 and visitors to christies.com came from 185 countries and numbered 20 million in 2013, 19% year on year growth, with mobile views increasing 42% during the year.