Elena Soboleva has an interesting take on Artsy’s poll of Instagramming collectors. How many collectors participated in this poll? Artsy doesn’t say. So assume it was a small number, smaller than the 519 polled by Arttactic for the Hiscox Online Art Trading Report.
More important than the method is the perception users have that visibility equals transparency or that visibility encourages flipping:
A large majority of collectors (73%) believe that Instagram makes the art market more transparent, with many citing that as its key impact. As one collector expressed: “Instagram has added a crucial element of transparency that was lacking in the art market. In the past, dealers and galleries were the only ones familiar with an artist’s entire body of work…a collector could only rely on the few images that a gallery posted on their website.” However, with Instagram, “collectors are exposed to a large body of works by contemporary artists and thus this knowledge gap has diminished.”
The larger effects of Instagram on the art market was a point of debate. While it was clear that the majority embraced the app for its potential for transparency, collectors were split over whether the effects were all good. 51% of those surveyed believed that it promoted art flipping.
Barry Malin (@burning_in_water_art) has amassed over 200 works over the last decade, and notes that, “Critics use Instagram as a bogeyman in the discussions around flipping, but active flipping flourishes in secrecy, while Instagram is a transparent medium.” Malin observes that “Social media is altering the distribution of influence within the contemporary art world, with these new channels privileging those who are adept at their use and willing to invest time and energy engaging effectively.”